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E Known errors and design deficiencies in MySQL

  • You cannot build in another directory when using MIT-pthreads. Since this requires changes to MIT-pthreads, we are not likely to fix this.
  • BLOB values can't ``reliably'' be used in GROUP BY or ORDER BY or DISTINCT. Only the first max_sort_length bytes (default 1024) are used when comparing BLOBbs in these cases. This can be changed with the -O max_sort_length option to mysqld. A workaround for most cases is to use a substring: SELECT DISTINCT LEFT(blob,2048) FROM tbl_name.
  • Calculation is done with BIGINT or DOUBLE (both are normally 64 bits long). It depends on the function which precision one gets. The general rule is that bit functions are done with BIGINT precision, IF, and ELT() with BIGINT or DOUBLE precision and the rest with DOUBLE precision. One should try to avoid using bigger unsigned long long values than 63 bits (9223372036854775807) for anything else than bit fields!
  • All string columns, except BLOB and TEXT columns, automatically have all trailing spaces removed when retrieved. For CHAR types this is okay, and may be regarded as a feature according to ANSI SQL92. The bug is that in MySQL, VARCHAR columns are treated the same way.
  • You can only have up to 255 ENUM and SET columns in one table.
  • safe_mysqld re-directs all messages from mysqld to the mysqld log. One problem with this is that if you execute mysqladmin refresh to close and reopen the log, stdout and stderr are still redirected to the old log. If you use --log extensively, you should edit safe_mysqld to log to `'hostname'.err' instead of `'hostname'.log' so you can easily reclaim the space for the old log by deleting the old one and executing mysqladmin refresh.
  • In the UPDATE statement, columns are updated from left to right. If you refer to a updated column, you will get the updated value instead of the original value. For example:
    mysql> UPDATE tbl_name SET KEY=KEY+1,KEY=KEY+1
    will update KEY with 2 instead of with 1.
  • You can't use temporary tables more than once in the same query.
    select * from temporary_table, temporary_table as t2;

The following is known bugs in earlier versions of MySQL:

  • Before MySQL 3.23.2 an UPDATE that updated a key with a WHERE on the same key may have failed because the key was used to search for records and the same row may have been found multiple times:
    UPDATE tbl_name SET KEY=KEY+1 WHERE KEY > 100;
    A workaround is to use:
    mysql> UPDATE tbl_name SET KEY=KEY+1 WHERE KEY+0 > 100;
    This will work because MySQL will not use index on expressions in the WHERE clause.
  • Before MySQL 3.23, all numeric types where treated as fixed-point fields. That means you had to specify how many decimals a floating-point field shall have. All results were returned with the correct number of decimals.

For platform-specific bugs, see the sections about compiling and porting.

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