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Are the posted questions getting worse? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:37 AM


Ten Centuries

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dwain.c (11/13/2013)
wolfkillj (11/13/2013)
Ed Wagner (11/13/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/13/2013)
venoym (11/13/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (11/12/2013)
wolfkillj (11/12/2013)
My new blog post on appropriate data types for storing latitude and longitude coordinates is up.

Thanks for indulging me in a little bit of self-promotion. I'm finding that it's hard to hit the critical mass of audience where a new post gets attention just by virtue of being posted.

Interesting article. I don't like the terminology though: a number like 123.456789 has 9 decimal places, not 6. It has 6 decimal places after the point and 3 before, making 9 in all. But I guess terminology is different in different places.


In this case I believe 9 would refer to Significant Digits (or Figures)(in many math/physics classes you hear the refrain of "Sig Figs" a lot). It's fairly common practice, in the US at least, to refer to the number of digits after the decimal point as "Decimal Places"


I was taught size (how many places for numbers) and precision, as some systems do not store the decimal point in the raw data, but have it defined in a data dictionary.
I'm sure with Steve this may bring back JDE memories.

I was taught 9 significant digits with 6 decimal places. I also thought the article was pretty interesting reading - good job.


Thanks for the feedback and discussion, everyone. It's nice to know you're reading my posts.

I take some comfort in having L'Eomot Inverse around to point out any errors or inconsistencies in my discourses on mathematics. I'll cop to muddling the terminology a bit. I used the term "decimal places" in the colloquial sense common in the U.S. to mean "digits to the right of the decimal point." I could have been more definite by stating that nine significant digits are necessary to represent latitude (as measured by augmented GPS) with appropriate precision - three for the integer part and six for the fractional part - while representing latitude with appropriate precision requires eight significant digits - two for the integer part and six for the fractional part. When writing for a global audience, it's good to remember that conventions for talking about and representing numbers can differ from place to place. At least we English-speakers have finally agreed that "billion" means a thousand millions and "trillion" means a million millions!


I believe that MS uses the terminology "precision" and "scale." I knew what you meant though.

SELECT a.name, b. name, a.precision, a.scale
FROM sys.all_columns a
JOIN sys.types b ON a.system_type_id = b.system_type_id
WHERE a.scale <> 0;





I was so focused on explaining the reasoning for selecting a particular precision and scale that, without even realizing it, I assumed that readers would know that "precision" = maximum number of significant digits and "scale" = maximum number of significant digits to the right of the decimal point when talking about the SQL Server decimal/numeric types. Thanks for pointing that out - too many unwritten assumptions can make technical articles confusing to people who don't already know the topic well.


Jason Wolfkill
Blog: SQLSouth
Twitter: @SQLSouth
Post #1514321
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:54 AM


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Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!

SQL Server covers such a broad range of products, I would hope they were more on an exploratory mission to see what you had been exposed to, as well as a feel for your capacity to pick up and fill in some blanks as needed.

Any company large enough to need everything from clustering to SSAS is likely staffed with more than one person. Jack of all Trades, Master of None? I'd rather have a master of 1 or 2 trades that could work with the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians when some in the house needs fixing.




I have seen a handful of unicorns




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Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw
Post #1514331
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 9:47 AM


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SQLRNNR (11/14/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!

SQL Server covers such a broad range of products, I would hope they were more on an exploratory mission to see what you had been exposed to, as well as a feel for your capacity to pick up and fill in some blanks as needed.

Any company large enough to need everything from clustering to SSAS is likely staffed with more than one person. Jack of all Trades, Master of None? I'd rather have a master of 1 or 2 trades that could work with the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians when some in the house needs fixing.




I have seen a handful of unicorns


I don't know of any. Even the MCM doesn't cover certain operational aspects. No... that's not a slam on MCM and anyone that managed to attain that coveted credential prior to its demise is just about guaranteed to be a rock star but no one knows everything about SQL Server... not even the occasional unicorn.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1514365
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 10:00 AM


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Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!



No such thing, for either. On the MVP list I'm amazed at the questions from people I think are pretty smart sometimes when they get out of their area of expertise. Sometimes they're what I'd consider 201, if not 101, questions.

Some of the MCMs, and well known "experts" in SQL Server freely admit when they're out of their league and don't know something about SQL Server.







Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest

Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
Post #1514369
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 10:30 AM


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SQLRNNR (11/14/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!

SQL Server covers such a broad range of products, I would hope they were more on an exploratory mission to see what you had been exposed to, as well as a feel for your capacity to pick up and fill in some blanks as needed.

Any company large enough to need everything from clustering to SSAS is likely staffed with more than one person. Jack of all Trades, Master of None? I'd rather have a master of 1 or 2 trades that could work with the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians when some in the house needs fixing.




I have seen a handful of unicorns


Those must have been awful small unicorns to fit in someone's hand.
Post #1514386
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 10:38 AM


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Chad Crawford (11/14/2013)
SQLRNNR (11/14/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!

SQL Server covers such a broad range of products, I would hope they were more on an exploratory mission to see what you had been exposed to, as well as a feel for your capacity to pick up and fill in some blanks as needed.

Any company large enough to need everything from clustering to SSAS is likely staffed with more than one person. Jack of all Trades, Master of None? I'd rather have a master of 1 or 2 trades that could work with the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians when some in the house needs fixing.




I have seen a handful of unicorns


Those must have been awful small unicorns to fit in someone's hand.


They are from the "My Little Pony" collection.



_______________________________________________________________

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Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 1 – Converting Rows to Columns
Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 2 - Dynamic Cross Tabs
Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 1)
Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 2)
Post #1514390
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:11 AM
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Sean Lange (11/14/2013)
Chad Crawford (11/14/2013)
SQLRNNR (11/14/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!

SQL Server covers such a broad range of products, I would hope they were more on an exploratory mission to see what you had been exposed to, as well as a feel for your capacity to pick up and fill in some blanks as needed.

Any company large enough to need everything from clustering to SSAS is likely staffed with more than one person. Jack of all Trades, Master of None? I'd rather have a master of 1 or 2 trades that could work with the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians when some in the house needs fixing.




I have seen a handful of unicorns


Those must have been awful small unicorns to fit in someone's hand.


They are from the "My Little Pony" collection.


Yeah, but if you get a hold of the little pony named Jack, that horn is likely to draw blood sooner or later. This reminds me of another thread I saw within the last few weeks about people who rate themselves as a 10 out of 10 in everything.



Tally Tables - Performance Personified
String Splitting with True Performance
Best practices on how to ask questions
Post #1514403
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:14 AM


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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (11/14/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!



No such thing, for either. On the MVP list I'm amazed at the questions from people I think are pretty smart sometimes when they get out of their area of expertise. Sometimes they're what I'd consider 201, if not 101, questions.

Some of the MCMs, and well known "experts" in SQL Server freely admit when they're out of their league and don't know something about SQL Server.


I wasn't going to mention the questions on the MVP "list" but that's precisely right. None of those people are stupid when it comes to SQL Server but even they (we) have some questions where the answers seem really obvious to some while others have no clue for the very reason you mention. SQL Server is just too big for any one person to know even for the incredible heavy hitters that frequent that particular MVP-only email "site"..


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1514405
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:53 AM


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Jeff Moden (11/14/2013)
Steve Jones - SSC Editor (11/14/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!



No such thing, for either. On the MVP list I'm amazed at the questions from people I think are pretty smart sometimes when they get out of their area of expertise. Sometimes they're what I'd consider 201, if not 101, questions.

Some of the MCMs, and well known "experts" in SQL Server freely admit when they're out of their league and don't know something about SQL Server.


I wasn't going to mention the questions on the MVP "list" but that's precisely right. None of those people are stupid when it comes to SQL Server but even they (we) have some questions where the answers seem really obvious to some while others have no clue for the very reason you mention. SQL Server is just too big for any one person to know even for the incredible heavy hitters that frequent that particular MVP-only email "site"..


Hey, stop talking about the questions I ask on the MVP list




Jack Corbett

Applications Developer

Don't let the good be the enemy of the best. -- Paul Fleming

Check out these links on how to get faster and more accurate answers:
Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
Need an Answer? Actually, No ... You Need a Question
How to Post Performance Problems
Crosstabs and Pivots or How to turn rows into columns Part 1
Crosstabs and Pivots or How to turn rows into columns Part 2
Post #1514426
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:19 PM


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Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn...



They call this the Asian Unicorn.



There now. We've all seen one.



My mantra: No loops! No CURSORs! No RBAR! Hoo-uh!

My thought question: Have you ever been told that your query runs too fast?

My advice:
INDEXing a poor-performing query is like putting sugar on cat food. Yeah, it probably tastes better but are you sure you want to eat it?
The path of least resistance can be a slippery slope. Take care that fixing your fixes of fixes doesn't snowball and end up costing you more than fixing the root cause would have in the first place.


Need to UNPIVOT? Why not CROSS APPLY VALUES instead?
Since random numbers are too important to be left to chance, let's generate some!
Learn to understand recursive CTEs by example.
Splitting strings based on patterns can be fast!
Post #1514538
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