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Re: should one use ANSI join syntax when writing an Oracle application?

From: Mladen Gogala <>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 20:52:19 -0400
Message-id: <>

On 10/17/2006 08:53:56 AM, Ashton Anthony (Mr A) EDU wrote:
> Mladen,
> Don't be resistant to change

Why not, if the change is actually for the worse? I find many queries like:

select a,b,c from A left outer join B left outer join C left outer join D.

That, my friend, is completely illogical and ambiguous. Outer join should be used sparingly, as an exception to the rule. Outer join means that you want to pair up values from two tables, but you don't really have all the matching values. Using that lightheartedly is a sign of a bad design.

> - Appreciate the differences and argue for/against without using emotive language. Many
> people (especially younger developers) will find the ANSI syntax easier to read and understand.

There is tedious but necessary old discipline called "logic". Younger developers usually have title that reads "junior programmer/developer". My title reads "senior DBA". It's them who will adjust to me, or their application will not run on my database. As simple as that, real democracy in action. It's called "war on ANSI joins". Current level of threat is orange, with yellow polka-dots.
Unless "younger developers" adopt that tedious thing called logic and explain to me why they would not use more clear and self-explanatory Oracle syntax, which happens to be much easier to optimize and maintain, they will not be in business long enough to become senior or ancient developers. For junior developers, there are few rules:

  1. Thou shalt not have other DBA's before me.
  2. Remember the day of thy DBA and keep it holy. In particular, thou shalt not call while thy DBA is watching the daily show with Jon Stewart or Real Time with Bill Maher.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of a senior DBA in vain.
  4. Thou shalt not make woodoo dolls or other effigies of a senior DBA.

Not every change is good and nobody has yet shown me any advantages of the ANSI syntax over the traditional one. Arguments like the ones used by Dr. Phil or Oprah are unlikely to convince me to the contrary. My favorite TV character is the soup nazi, not Oprah. No soup for you! Neeeext!

Mladen Gogala

Received on Tue Oct 17 2006 - 19:52:19 CDT

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