On Tue, 26 Oct 1999, Tom Lane wrote:
: > Both "fieldname" definitions are identical (verified with char(2) and
: > varchar(100) in particular), and both tables contain a row with a "null" in
: > that field. However, the results don't contain the row with the "null"
: > value.
: NULL = NULL does not yield TRUE, it yields NULL. For that matter,
: NULL != NULL does not yield FALSE --- it yields NULL. This is a
: basic consequence of the semantics of NULL.
I have been using such constructs on commercial databases for ages. Do you
have a link to a web-based SQL standard transcription that I could look this
up? (I'll check up on exactly which database(s) I can use this type of
construct when I get back to work tomorrow....)
It seems _extremely_ counter-intuitive, especially in cases where both
fields are in fact the same type.
: Nearly all Postgres operators yield NULL if any input is NULL.
Interesting ... so see my clarification of (2) below.
: If you really want to match up nulls in your example, you can do
: something like
: WHERE (a.fieldname = b.fieldname) OR
: (a.fieldname IS NULL AND b.fieldname IS NULL)
Which I already described in my text, sigh.
: This is pretty grotty, of course, so my inclination would be to
: use a special non-NULL value --- an empty string, for example ---
Doesn't work for datetime, which is an important application in my case
which rather needs null to indicate "no datestamp at all".
: > (2) NOT IN doesn't seem to work at all. I always get 0 results--and very
: > rapidly at that!--regardless of the situation.
: I don't think it's quite *that* broken. How about a concrete
: example of what you're trying to do?
Well, after reading your statement about "Nearly all Postgres ...", here's a
very simple example that I was able to create based on that assumption:
=> create temp table foo (name varchar(10));
=> create temp table foo2 (name varchar(10));
=> insert into foo values (null); // <<- here's the tripwire!
=> insert into foo values ('a');
=> insert into foo2 values ('a');
=> insert into foo2 values ('b');
=> select * from foo2 where field not in (select field from foo);
Now *that* is awfully disturbing. :>
-- Todd Vierling (tv(at)pobox(dot)com)
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