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Re: Thoughts on "SELECT * EXCLUDING (...) FROM ..."?

From: Darren Duncan <darren(at)darrenduncan(dot)net>
To: Eric Ridge <eebbrr(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Thoughts on "SELECT * EXCLUDING (...) FROM ..."?
Date: 2011-10-29 22:55:21
Message-ID: 4EAC8459.8060004@darrenduncan.net (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
I agree that this feature would be quite useful and should be included in SQL. 
The exact syntax is less of an issue, but just the ability to cleanly say 
"select all columns except for these".  I have in fact argued for the same 
feature in the past.

If you want to and can implement this feature then more power to you.  I'll look 
forward to it being in Pg 9.2.

I think then the only discussion point should be what (terse) syntax to use for 
it, not whether the feature should exist at all.

Arguing against this feature is like arguing against supporting "where not()" or 
"except" or "not in".  One should be able to do complements not only of rows but 
of columns too.  Basic good language design.

-- Darren Duncan

Eric Ridge wrote:
> Would y'all accept a patch that extended the "SELECT *" syntax to let
> you list fields to exclude from the A_Star?
> 
> Quite regularly I'll be testing queries via psql and want to see all
> the columns from a fairly wide table except maybe a giant text or xml
> column.  A syntax like:
> 
>      SELECT * EXCLUDING (big_col1, big_col2) FROM foo;
> 
> would be pretty handy.  It would definitely save some typing in
> certain cases.  It seems like such a syntax would better document the
> intent of a query too, rather than leaving one wondering if "big_col1"
> was supposed to be omitted from the target list or not.
> 
> Anyways, I just wanted to run the idea by youse guys before I put too
> much more effort into it.  I've already made what appear to be the
> minimum necessary changes to gram.y, and a few quick greps through the
> code make me think the rest will be pretty easy.
> 
> Maybe the SQL spec says something about this and nobody's done the work yet?
> 
> Thanks for your input!
> 
> eric
> 


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