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character ordering


character ordering

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Tom Thomson
Tom Thomson
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item character ordering

Tom

Stewart "Arturius" Campbell
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Och, tripped myself up on the CI option of the collation - lesson - do NOT attempt to do the QotD before having your first cup of coffee in the morning.

Good question, Tom.

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My first estimate was something near 75 (10 digits, 26 uppercase, 26 lowercase) but then I remembered the accents and found a table.



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derek.colley
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As with most QotDs, I try and answer them, right or wrong, before researching the answer, so I can identify gaps in my knowledge rather than score points.

I'm afraid this question was just too obscure for me. It's a good question, sure, but why would I need to know this or reference it in any way? I mean, we have hundreds of databases, most of which actually use this collation, and this nugget has never, and will never come in useful.

It's a numbers question. It's a bit like asking, 'how many system tables exist in the MSDB after a vanilla installation of SQL Server 2005 with SP2 (on a full moon in the Northern Hemisphere while wearing Wellington boots and a silly hat, or any other irrelevance you care to name)?' - the answer can be found, but why would it be relevant to anyone in a DBA/BI/dev position?

I think my views are echoed in the results so far, one of the few QotDs where wrong answers (probably mostly guesses) outnumber right ones.

Sorry to be so harsh. I, too, am without my morning coffee.

---

Note to developers:
CAST(SUBSTRING(CAST(FLOOR(NULLIF(ISNULL(COALESCE(1,NULL),NULL),NULL)) AS CHAR(1)),1,1) AS INT) == 1
So why complicate your code AND MAKE MY JOB HARDER??!Crazy

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Note that the QOD query will return 139 characters if it runs on a database with the Latin1_General_CI_AS (or similar) collation. When running on a database with another collation, the results may vary. For example, for a Vietnamese_CI_AS database the query returns 131 characters, for a Cyrillic_General_CS_AS database – 158 characters, for a Japanese_CI_AS_KS_WS database – 122 characters, for a SQL_EBCDIC273_CP1_CS_AS (?!) database – 15 characters. But the answer given is correct though.
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derek.colley (11/1/2012)
I'm afraid this question was just too obscure for me. It's a good question, sure, but why would I need to know this or reference it in any way? I mean, we have hundreds of databases, most of which actually use this collation, and this nugget has never, and will never come in useful.

For example it's good to know there are accented letters in the area. There are both lowercase and uppercase letters.
Without tnis knowledge you are not able to understand string comparisons.



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derek.colley
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For example it's good to know there are accented letters in the area. There are both lowercase and uppercase letters.
Without tnis knowledge you are not able to understand string comparisons.


I'm already aware of the existence of accented characters in this collation, without accented characters the collation would not need to be marked as AI or AS.

When doing string comparisons, I would likewise be aware of accents and case differences on letters and non-standard A-Z alphabetic characters anyway.

I would also consult a character map for the collation if comparing by ASCII / Unicode decimal or hex values (much easier than messing around with set-based or RBAR CHAR()-based SQL code).

Your point doesn't detract from mine, which was that this is a pointless question, reliant on the reader's ability to count.

---

Note to developers:
CAST(SUBSTRING(CAST(FLOOR(NULLIF(ISNULL(COALESCE(1,NULL),NULL),NULL)) AS CHAR(1)),1,1) AS INT) == 1
So why complicate your code AND MAKE MY JOB HARDER??!Crazy

Want to get the best help? Click here http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/ (Jeff Moden)
My blog: http://uksqldba.blogspot.com
Visit http://www.DerekColley.co.uk to find out more about me.

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honza.mf (11/1/2012)
derek.colley (11/1/2012)
I'm afraid this question was just too obscure for me. It's a good question, sure, but why would I need to know this or reference it in any way? I mean, we have hundreds of databases, most of which actually use this collation, and this nugget has never, and will never come in useful.

For example it's good to know there are accented letters in the area. There are both lowercase and uppercase letters.
Without tnis knowledge you are not able to understand string comparisons.


I'm with Derek on this one, it's a good question but very irrelevant, and I was very surprised to see that I was in the largest percentage who also all got it wrong. I don't understand where this would come in useful, we all know this collation has accented characters which it is sensitive to, and uppercase and lowercase characters which it is insensitive to, the collation name tells us this; however for the sake of understanding string comparisons, we have no use for knowing how many characters are between 0 and Z, we just need to know the collation type and have an ascii table handy.
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derek.colley (11/1/2012)
I'm afraid this question was just too obscure for me. It's a good question, sure, but why would I need to know this or reference it in any way? I mean, we have hundreds of databases, most of which actually use this collation, and this nugget has never, and will never come in useful.

The specific answer isn't useful, but the process of writing a query to answer it surely could be. I had no idea of the correct answer so I wrote a query very similar to that given in the answer:


SELECT *
FROM dbo.Numbers AS n
WHERE
CHAR(n) COLLATE Latin1_General_CI_AS
BETWEEN '0' AND 'Z';


The idea of QotDs that require the reader to write T-SQL code to find the answer intrigues me. If that was Tom's intention (as I suspect it was) and/or to highlight the usefulness of a Numbers table, I applaud him.



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Ross.M (11/1/2012)
... however for the sake of understanding string comparisons, we have no use for knowing how many characters are between 0 and Z, we just need to know the collation type and have an ascii table handy.

This is one of the tricks of this question. Collation and ascii tables are two different things.
Collation ordering does not copy ascii ordering of characters, it's little bit more sofisticated.



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