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Displaying posts with tag: quoting (reset)
MySQL Bad Idea #573

This is MySQL’s Bad Idea #573 (after #384, which I’ve blogged about before) I’ve just had a terrible experience with a bug report from the jOOQ User Group, related to escaping of backslashes in string literals in MySQL. First, I thought to myself, whatever. SQL doesn’t escape backslashes. The only escape character within a string literal according to the early SQL standards is the quote as in quote quote. Citing from SQL-1992 (slightly simplified):

<character string literal> ::=
    <quote> [ <character representation>... ] <quote>

<character representation> ::=
    <nonquote character>
  | <quote symbol><nonquote character> ::= …
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MySQL and Quoting

MySQL does not follow the ANSI SQL standard for quoting. MySQL’s default quoting behavior is that either single or double quotes can be used to quote a string (this gets me into trouble when I work with Oracle databases, as double quotes do not indicate a string!).

mysql> SELECT 'alive';
+-------+
| alive |
+-------+
| alive |
+-------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT "alive";
+-------+
| alive |
+-------+
| alive |
+-------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Bare words are dealt with in context; in this case, a bare word would be parsed as a column name:

mysql> SELECT alive;
ERROR 1054 (42S22): Unknown column 'alive' in 'field list'

Backquotes are the way MySQL escapes table names. So, if you want a reserved word, number or operator to be the name of an object (ie, a table named “1″ or a column named “date”) you need to use backquotes to avoid a syntax error….for example:

mysql> …
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