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8:31 AM
Q: Help us delete the SQL tag

Paul WhiteContinuing the process started in Let's burninate the SQL tag! and Removing the SQL tag. It is time to work our way through questions that have only the sql tag. Use the results of this SEDE query as a list to work from. Please take your time on each question, and avoid editing too many too qu...

I am working on questions 1 to 5.
9:03 AM
Do you want everybody to take 5 questions?
Do we need to flag closed questions for deletion? Or can you remove those from the query and go through them separately?
@hot2use I don't really mind, but five at a time seems like a sensible starting point.
My guess is that very few closed questions will be reopened, but maybe we don't want to just delete them all either?
@Colin'tHart Assess the state of the Q & A using your best judgement. As the question says, if it is obviously unsalvageable (of no use to the site) flag it for a moderator to delete.
3 messages moved from The Heapβ„’ – Consultancy ©®
@Colin'tHart Likewise, if the question can be saved, do what you can to save it then vote/flag for reopening as normal.
@PaulWhite OK. Did you see the question I just flagged? Was that OK?
9:12 AM
@Colin'tHart Yes that was fine. Obvious crap now deleted. Don't forget to mention that you're flagging as part of the SQL tag cleanup project.
(and thank you)
It will help avoid people processing the same questions if you leave a message saying which items you are handling (using the SEDE row numbers).
But as I said in the meta Q, there is no rush about this, it's more of a half-marathon than a sprint.
@PaulWhite Should we ask the OP to tag it using the correct DBMS and version?
@McNets You can ask, but it may be fruitless if the question is very old and the OP hasn't been around for a while. Try to achieve a permanent outcome if you can.
@PaulWhite ok
9:18 AM
Usually, there will be enough context from the whole page to decide how to tag the question w.r.t DBMS. If not, it may be that the question is hopelessly unclear. In the middle ground, you may be able to edit enough that the question makes sense and provides at least some long term value to the site. Use your judgement. If you're not sure, ask in here, or leave it for someone else.
We've never really done a project like this before, so if any of you have suggestions about how to improve the way we coordinate, please say.
@PaulWhite Agree
@McNets When you edit, please take your time and fix everything you can. See for example the extra edits I made to
If we modifiy the tags (remove ) will the SEDE query output change?
@PaulWhite Yep, I see, I was editing the same question ;)
12 mins ago, by Paul White
@hot2use It will probably help avoid people processing the same questions at the same time if you leave a message in here saying which items you are handling.
9:26 AM
@McNets ^^^
I suggest people choose a range of questions and leave a message here before starting work on that range.
@PaulWhite Will the "range" change in the SEDE query?
This question:
Should it be tagged as `agile`?
@hot2use Hopefully not, given the ordering I chose.
@McNets I would say no. Avoid creating new tags if you can.
That question doesn't seem very on-topic to me.
@PaulWhite But if the tag is no longer present then the WHERE clause has no effect or is SEDE static for a month?
@hot2use SEDE refreshes every week. We'll just have to handle it as best we can. As time goes by, the number of results will come down to a very manageable number.
9:33 AM
@McNets The funny thing there is the revision history says the agile tag was added at some point, but it isn't there now, so I guess it was deleted by the system. In any case, it seems like a poor tag to create.
@PaulWhite Ok, If I can't assign any new tag, should I let the sql tag?
@McNets I found four tags that seemed to fit. See my edit. No: we must remove the SQL tag.
@PaulWhite ok
Can we already prevent new questions from using tha SQL tag? Or is that a flaw in the Stack software that we have to delete the tag first? was posted just a few minutes ago...
9:37 AM
@Colin'tHart Yeah it's a flaw. Blacklisting doesn't do that. I changed the tag description to DO NOT USE but hey what you can do πŸ™‚
@Colin'tHart Also: that's a really poor question!
Also, remind me on the best way to propose a tag synonym? We have both csv and csv-file today.
Question on meta?
@Colin'tHart If it's super obvious, mention it in here and I'll consider it. If it's not a no-brainer, yeah take it to Database Administrators Meta.
Well, I think csv-file should be a synonym for csv. Whether it’s a file or stream or whatever should be of no special consideration.
@Colin'tHart Ok let me think about that for a minute. On the question you linked, I changed to , left a comment referencing Erik's excellent how to ask about writing queries Q & A, and placed it on hold as unclear.
@Colin'tHart Agreed. If you make/suggest some usage guidance for I'll create the synonym.
Do we need much more than something like "Delimited text where commas are used to separate the values." ?
Reference Wikipedia?
In computing, a comma-separated values (CSV) file is a delimited text file that uses a comma to separate values. A CSV file stores tabular data (numbers and text) in plain text. Each line of the file is a data record. Each record consists of one or more fields, separated by commas. The use of the comma as a field separator is the source of the name for this file format. The CSV file format is not fully standardized. The basic idea of separating fields with a comma is clear, but that idea gets complicated when the field data may also contain commas or even embedded line-breaks. CSV implementations...
9:47 AM
@Colin'tHart The usage guidance should be more about how the tag should be used for questions in a DBA site context, rather than a definition of that CSV means. The usage guidance is more important than the wiki part IMO.
Aah, yes! Something like "Questions on how to import into, extract data from, or exchange data between databases in CSV format (plain text using commas to separate values)." should suffice?
@Colin'tHart Seems reasonable. Honestly I sometimes wonder why we have the tags we do.
But yeah sure, it exists, might as well make the best of it.
10:03 AM
BTW, there is an `structured-query-language` tag
And that tag already has questions that aren't specifically about SQL as a language.
@McNets Yes that was Max's suggestion Please think carefully before using it, because it did not get much support. Certainly do not just replace [sql] with that tag. That wouldn't really achieve what we want.
@PaulWhite ok
@Colin'tHart I'm waiting for Max to provide better usage guidance for that tag. I removed two instances that didn't make sense to me. I suggest we avoid it in the meantime, unless we find compelling uses, which would probably be best discussed in here on or meta first anyway.
@Colin'tHart Let me know when you've added that CSV guidance and I'll approve it.
IMHO we could do with a tag "help-me-write-this-SQL"... but don't know how to name it so that askers would find it. It should probably start with "SQL" as that is what I imagine a not-small percentage of askers start typing as a tag.
10:13 AM
meta tags are discouraged
that one's particularly awkward since beginner questions are technically off-topic anyway
not that all such questions are necessarily beginner-level, but they often are
is probably closest
it might need a better name
maybe would be better, but I don't have the energy for that meta discussion right now, and it has a history.
@PaulWhite For anyone wondering, the data behind this query is refreshed only once per week, on Sunday around 3:00 UTC.
45 mins ago, by Paul White
@hot2use SEDE refreshes every week. We'll just have to handle it as best we can. As time goes by, the number of results will come down to a very manageable number.
Hopefully, the change in numbering each week will not be too disruptive in practice.
@Colin'tHart csv-file is now a synonym of csv. Do you think "comma-separated-values" would be better than "csv"?
Oh, with only 224 questions I was hoping we would have it done within a week :-)
10:20 AM
@Colin'tHart Maybe so, but I really don't want to rush this process. You might be right though.
Add that as a synonym too...? People probably type CSV more often than "comma-separated-values"
@Colin'tHart Yes it would be synonymized.
Shorter tags are better too.
@Colin'tHart Are they though. Acronyms can be confusing. We used to have but now it is .
perhaps I'll leave it be as CSV
it's a common enough acronym
10:49 AM
I'm processing questions 6 to 10 on the list.
Sorry, I already took a few random questions before I realized the data only refreshes once a week...
I did, 102-104 and 108-109, I'm having doubts for 105 to 107
11:04 AM
@McNets Would you like me to look at 105, 106, and 107?
@PaulWhite Please
@McNets Done. 107 was the most difficult, but in the end it was either a complete duplicate with no value added, or hopelessly unclear. It has been closed for a long time with no reply from the unregistered OP, so I deleted it.
@PaulWhite thank you
11:19 AM
I'm going to take a break for a while. We have edited quite a few questions between us.
@Colin'tHart No worries.
11:55 AM
Ok, 110-111 my last two
3 hours later…
2:29 PM
Processing questions 11-15 inclusive.
16-20 for me.
3:19 PM
@Colin'tHart Regarding why did you use the new s-q-l tag instead of ?
Why do we have two? What's the difference?
Well this is exactly the problem!
s-q-l doesn't have specific usage guidance
Q: Tag rename [ansi-sql-standard] to [sql-standard]

Evan CarrollThe standard, though originally ANSI isn't really ANSI anymore. In fact, I imagine far more people develop it from the ISO/IEC outside of ANSI. ANSI calls it ISO/IEC 9075-4:2016, and the ISO/IEC make no mention of even ANSI involvement Regardless, ansi isn't really relevant. If that's too vagu...

I don't even see "standard-sql" in the list of current tags
Oh sorry I typed it backwards
Aha, presume you mean "sql-standard"
3:22 PM
That's what I said πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ
Perfect, thanks.
So what is "structured-query-language" for??
Buggered if I know.
A: Removing the SQL tag

Max VernonJust to document the option, I think it would be useful to retain a tag for the language for those odd times when someone has a question about some aspect of the language that works across many database-management-systems. If you agree it would be useful to have a tag for the language, outside ...

A: Let's burninate the SQL tag!

Max VernonI think it would be useful to retain a tag for the language for those odd times when someone has a question about the standard, or some aspect of the language that works across many database-management-systems. An example question, where I've converted the sql tag to structured-query-language ap...

applies to that second use case.
I think so too. Hence:
5 hours ago, by Paul White
@Colin'tHart I'm waiting for Max to provide better usage guidance for that tag. I removed two instances that didn't make sense to me. I suggest we avoid it in the meantime, unless we find compelling uses, which would probably be best discussed in here on or meta first anyway.
Q: How to do hierarchical queries without CTE tables or recusive queries in Snowflake? (parent, child relationships)

ajputnamI have several tables in postgres that we are migrating to snowflake. Some of these table are hierarchical (a foreign key point to the same table), normally to query this data I use CTE tables and/or recursive SQL statements. As far as I can tell Snowflake does not support these operations. Is ...

That's the only remaining question.
3:26 PM
And it's not really any different then the other questions where we removed
except that Max added it there, I think.
Honestly I think for that last example the s-q-l tag adds no value at all.
That's my opinion too.
The other four (!) tags are sufficient
I would just remove it there.
And then the tag will die by itself :D
3:27 PM
Do it. My name is already on too many recent edits πŸ™‚
I'm fine with throwing you under that particular bus πŸ˜›
Preparing for Max's wrath.
Now you've done it!
backs away slowly
Honestly I wouldn't mind having s-q-l if it had a really well-defined scope.
It is fun giving Max a hard time though, I will admit that
Well, he had his chance to define the scope :-)
3:42 PM
@Colin'tHart Indeed. Hey, thanks for the comment flag on but can you spot what you missed?
Hint: tag
Sorry, started it and got a Jabber message from a colleague and had to do some real work...
Will get back to it, promise!
A likely story.
Had another look at it, can't think of any other tags for this one.
yep that's what I would have done.
2 hours later…
5:55 PM
Processing questions 21-25.
6:42 PM
Taking 26-30.
6:52 PM
Hmm a bunch of lame questions.
Q: Best practices with large amount of data

gorjuceI'm building a solution and I have a question. All my data is currently stored in a unique table. Each row of data is associated with a type. My question is, what's the best practice for defining a table structure: all data in an unique table with associated type or data stored in dedicated typ...

A 0 ranked question, with 6 answers, all ranked 0.
This is going to be tedious
Sorry I wasn't around today. I won't interfere tonight to avoid flooding the home page but I can handle some questions tomorrow before noon (cet) if you want
"I'm scared about query time with billions of rows."
Whenever someone says "billions of rows" I roll my eyes.
Hmm, I don't know what to do with 26-28.
26: I'd say just delete it.
27: Kind of strange requirement, though I can think of some cases where one would want to assign alternating values in this way. Retag as ? But it really is some SQL they're after.
26 agree
28: I'd also say just delete it. Definitely close as too localized. Again, not sure how to tag it.
OK, I did 31-35 too.
What's the difference between and ?
7:16 PM
How is this even up voted
A: help with simple sql queries

DemorfIt looks as a school / task problem ... and you question is "can some one help me with this?" So instead of giving you the answers I will try to give you some easy to follow resources, to get you started with basic SQL problems like this: SQL intro: S...

Back in the early days everyone on this site was still finding their way...
8:05 PM
I'll add some TLC tomorrow. Didn't have any time today.
8:22 PM
@TomV Actually it can be kinda fun. It's also a good chance to review some things with other people, instead of alone like we do in the review queues a lot of the time. There's only ~200 to do in total so it won't take all that long.
8:40 PM
In the meantime, a Community Manager just helpfully added the following warning text to the Ask Question dialog when the user attempts to add :
The [sql] tag is deprecated and will be removed soon. To specify the SQL Server database engine, use the [sql-server] tag instead. For details, see meta.
@Colin'tHart Both deleted thank you. Don't forget to mention the SQL tag cleanup effort in your flag description. It won't always be me handling the flag!
Relational algebra, first created by Edgar F. Codd while at IBM, is a family of algebras with a well-founded semantics used for modelling the data stored in relational databases, and defining queries on it. The main application of relational algebra is providing a theoretical foundation for relational databases, particularly query languages for such databases, chief among which is SQL. == Introduction == Relational algebra received little attention outside of pure mathematics until the publication of E.F. Codd's relational model of data in 1970. Codd proposed such an algebra as a basis for database...
Relational calculus consists of two calculi, the tuple relational calculus and the domain relational calculus, that are part of the relational model for databases and provide a declarative way to specify database queries. This in contrast to the relational algebra, which is also part of the relational model but provides a more procedural way for specifying queries. The relational algebra might suggest these steps to retrieve the phone numbers and names of book stores that supply Some Sample Book: Join book stores and titles over the BookstoreID. Restrict the result of that join to tuples for the...
@PaulWhite I tagged most of the questions relatively recently, none was tagged as such before. They're only a few but I consider the tag is useful.
@MDCCL Yes me too! The links above are for @Colin'tHart's benefit.
@PaulWhite I see, I thought you were considering a removal
2 hours ago, by Colin 't Hart
What's the difference between and ?
Yeah I just read that message
@PaulWhite BTW, I think that should be [dbms-internals] instead. I constantly see questions that might benefit from that tag, but I refrain from adding it because of the way the tag is written. It does not have much to do with the [sql] tag, but I'm mentioning the issue here just for the record
Pedantry issue, I think, ha
8:59 PM
@MDCCL Reminds me of:
A: 'database-agnostic' tag should be 'dbms-agnostic'

Jack DouglasIt's a well-argued and sensible suggestion, but I personally think that while the principle of using of precise language is a good one, in this case there is no precise language to choose. As can be seen on the Oracle site here and the SQL Server site here, 'DBMS' has almost completely disappear...

(I agree with Jack)
@MDCCL You are more than welcome to make an edit to the usage description to improve it of course.
Yes, the issues are very similar, and I disagree with Jack, because there is in fact precise language to choose in both cases. Basically speaking, (a) a database is a collection of facts, and (b) a database management system is a system that facilitates administrating one or more databases.
Yeah but 'database' is just such common usage, the accuracy really wouldn't help, and might actually make the tag harder to find and use.
@PaulWhite The usage info describes says "For technical questions about the internal workings of the database engine." which seems to be in tune with the [dbms-internals] meaning.
@PaulWhite Maybe [database-engine-internals]?
Adds length without real value?
Feel free to propose the change on meta if you like. Let the community as a whole decide.
These are just my personal opinions.
@PaulWhite I agree that 'database' is such common usage, so that would be a problem.
@PaulWhite I thought about that some months ago, but then so the 'database-agnostic' vs 'dbms-agnostic' meta Q, so it doesn't seem very promising
9:11 PM
Probably not πŸ™‚
Then I decided to simply refrain from touching the tag. As mentioned above, I'm bringing it up just for the record, as a friendly unfruitful protest. ;)
Perhaps we can revisit it in more detail once the current retagging effort is completed.
@PaulWhite Yes, maybe. Thanks for sharing your opinions.
OTOH, I'm working on 36-40
9:56 PM
Done with 36-40

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