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Re: [HACKERS] Severe SUBSELECT bug in 6.5 CVS

From: Bruce Momjian <maillist(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Chris Bitmead <chris(dot)bitmead(at)bigfoot(dot)com>, pgsql-hackers(at)hub(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Severe SUBSELECT bug in 6.5 CVS
Date: 1999-06-26 18:55:03
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
> Chris Bitmead <chris(dot)bitmead(at)bigfoot(dot)com> writes:
> > httpd=> select * from a where i not in (select i from b);
> > [ returns nothing if b contains any nulls in column i ]
> Of course, what's happening here is that the NOT IN is (in effect)
> transformed to
> 	a.i != b.i1 AND a.i != b.i2 AND a.i != b.i3 ...
> (writing i1, i2, ... for the values extracted from b).  Then, since
> any comparison involving NULL returns FALSE, the where-clause fails
> for all values of a.i.
> I think this actually is a bug, not because it's wrong for "x != NULL"
> to be false, but because the SQL spec defines "a NOT IN t" as equivalent
> to "NOT (a IN t)".  IN is implemented as
> 	a.i = b.i1 OR a.i = b.i2 OR a.i = b.i3 ...
> which will effectively ignore nulls in b --- it'll return true if and
> only if a.i matches one of the non-null values in b.  Our implementation
> fails to maintain the equivalence that NOT IN is the negation of this.
> It appears to me that to follow the SQL spec, a NULL found in a.i
> should return NULL for both IN and NOT IN (the spec appears to say that
> the result of IN is "unknown" in that case, and we are using NULL to
> represent "unknown"):

I would be interested to see how other databases handle this.

  Bruce Momjian                        |
  maillist(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us            |  (610) 853-3000
  +  If your life is a hard drive,     |  830 Blythe Avenue
  +  Christ can be your backup.        |  Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania 19026

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