Concatenating field values together



  • What is up with the character used to concatenate field values together?

    "||"

    ??? WTF?

    Is "+" or "&" really too illogical or something?

    And get this...I found the answer to this on MSDN...not on OTN or any Oracle-related site. But I guess I should've known that would happen...since MSDN'ers have probably been figuring out stupid crap like this for a long time.



  • oh, and another thing...what's up w/ all the Oracle world calling fields "columns" ?

    I mean...they're only "columns" when they're displayed in a data grid or something...otherwise they're "fields" of a table (entity) just like you have "fields" of a class (entity) in your code...makes perfect sense to me.

    I know what they mean but, their terminology could improve, IMO.



  • Yeah, the "||" is stupid, but it makes me think of boolean OR's which is kind of a concatenation (mix the 2 together). Or at least you can think of it that way.

    However- the server does give you a -really- decent error (surprise!) which TELLS you that you have to use "||" instead of "+".

    But then why doesn't it just do what you want if it's smart enough to return an error telling you what to do?

    And "&" for string concat is nonsensical...



  • Boolean OR is nothing like concatenation, you must mean binary OR, used to combine flags (MB_STUPID | MB_ASSHOLE) :P And I think now you're just using any excuse we can find to put down Oracle. Not that I care, I've never used it anyway :P



  • Calling them "columns" is not even close to being unique to Oracle folk. It is SQL standard practice. Joe CELKO is constantly harping on this in comp.databases.ms-sqlserver.



  • Sadly, "||" is the ANSI-SQL concatenation operator.  So, the standard uses a stupid notation for conatenation as well.



    I prefer "&", but many flavors of SQL use it for bitwise AND. 
    In a weakly-typed language, I like concatenation to be a different
    symbol than addition in order to avoid confusion about which is being
    performed, so at least Oracle/ANSI doesn't "overload" the meaning of
    "+".  Not that I'm defending Oracle in general (I'd never do that).



    Now, in Jet/Access, you can use "&" or "+" for string
    concatenation, which I like since I can use "&", but there are
    subtle differences which can bite you in the butt.  "&" will
    treat NULL as empty strings (which is usually what I want), and "+"
    will use normal SQL NULL logic.



  • @jamauss said:

    oh, and another thing...what's up w/ all the Oracle world calling fields "columns" ?

    I
    mean...they're only "columns" when they're displayed in a data grid or
    something...otherwise they're "fields" of a table (entity) just like
    you have "fields" of a class (entity) in your code...makes perfect
    sense to me.

    I know what they mean but, their terminology could improve, IMO.






    Hey MORON!  Go read a relational database book!!  You are all a bunch of idiots.



  • Since that post - I have actually read and studied many relational database books and other text and will concede that "columns" is the proper terminology, not "field".

    Hey, it takes a while for an OOP'er to come around to thinking in RDB terms...gimme a break.



  • @rpresser said:

    Calling them "columns" is not even close to
    being unique to Oracle folk. It is SQL standard practice. Joe
    CELKO is constantly harping on this in comp.databases.ms-sqlserver.




    Erm, what ELSE would you call them?



  • @jamauss said:


    Hey, it takes a while for an OOP'er to come around to thinking in RDB terms...gimme a break.




    So why bother talking/complaining about something you have neither knowledge or understanding of?



  • It's also the Concatenation symbol in SAS ;-)



  • @Otis Mukinfus said:

    It's also the Concatenation symbol in SAS ;-)

    But SAS uses variables for columns and observations for rows. Except when you're using SAS/SQL, when it doesn't.



  • @jamauss said:

    oh, and another thing…what’s up w/ all the Oracle world calling fields “columns”?

    What clickety GUI tool did you fall out of?



  • Since Oracle does automatic type conversion, "+" cannot be used.

    '123'+2 => 125
    '123'||2 => '1232'

    even the following works:
    '2'+'2' => 4
    2||2 => '22'


    They could have used "&", though. It has no conflicting meaning in Oracle SQL, neighter in Oracle's tools (SQL*PLUS etc.)


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