Numerical calculation returns string with DBI/Mysql

When I run the following query in DBI/Mysql, I'm finding that DBI is
returning the rho column as a string (rather than a float), thus forcing me
to convert it to a float with to_f. (I lose precision because the string
only returns the result to three decimal places). Any idea why DBI/Mysql is
returning the result of a numerical calculation as a string?

I'm running
mysql-5.0.34_alpha20070101-r61
mysql-ruby-2.7.2
ruby-dbi-0.0.21-r2
ruby-1.8.5_p2
on Gentoo.

dbh.execute("select childcounts.name name, childcounts.count/
parentcounts.count rho from parentcounts, childcounts where
parentcounts.left_key=childcounts.parent_left")

···

--
Ken Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.
http://www.iit.edu/~kbloom1/

When I run the following query in DBI/Mysql, I'm finding that DBI is
returning the rho column as a string (rather than a float), thus forcing me
to convert it to a float with to_f. (I lose precision because the string
only returns the result to three decimal places). Any idea why DBI/Mysql is
returning the result of a numerical calculation as a string?

I'm running
mysql-5.0.34_alpha20070101-r61
mysql-ruby-2.7.2
ruby-dbi-0.0.21-r2
ruby-1.8.5_p2
on Gentoo.

dbh.execute("select childcounts.name name, childcounts.count/
parentcounts.count rho from parentcounts, childcounts where
parentcounts.left_key=childcounts.parent_left")

Hi Ken
if this is an issue it is a MySQL issue I guess, concerning ruby, do
you have a compelling reason not to write

dbh.execute("select childcounts.name name, childcounts.count whatever,
parentcounts.count rho from parentcounts, childcounts where
parentcounts.left_key=childcounts.parent_left")

and let the gem do the arithmetic? (performance maybe)

Cheers
Robert

···

On 2/22/07, Ken Bloom <kbloom@gmail.com> wrote:

--
Ken Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.
http://www.iit.edu/~kbloom1/

--
We have not succeeded in answering all of our questions.
In fact, in some ways, we are more confused than ever.
But we feel we are confused on a higher level and about more important things.
-Anonymous

When I run the following query in DBI/Mysql, I'm finding that DBI is
returning the rho column as a string (rather than a float), thus forcing

me

to convert it to a float with to_f. (I lose precision because the string
only returns the result to three decimal places). Any idea why DBI/Mysql

is

returning the result of a numerical calculation as a string?

I'm running
mysql-5.0.34_alpha20070101-r61
mysql-ruby-2.7.2
ruby-dbi-0.0.21-r2
ruby-1.8.5_p2
on Gentoo.

dbh.execute("select childcounts.name name, childcounts.count/
parentcounts.count rho from parentcounts, childcounts where
parentcounts.left_key=childcounts.parent_left")

Hi Ken
if this is an issue it is a MySQL issue I guess, concerning ruby, do
you have a compelling reason not to write

dbh.execute("select childcounts.name name, childcounts.count whatever,
parentcounts.count rho from parentcounts, childcounts where
parentcounts.left_key=childcounts.parent_left")

and let the gem do the arithmetic? (performance maybe)

Apparently extracting all data as strings is an important part of the MySQL
C API (see http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/mysql-fetch-row.html\), so
I just have to live with that way of doing things.

Someone should look through the DBI coercion code to make sure that they're
coercing data back to a float correctly, because this is a case that's
getting missed. Either DBI or DBD::MySQL is responsible for the coercion --
I'm not entirely sure which though.

I can get better precision by adding 0.000000000 to the quotient in the SQL
statement (so childcounts.count/parentcounts.count becomes childcounts.count/
parentcounts.count+0.000000000) because that forces the returned string to
be longer. It would be nice if I could get the data in the native
representation though, have high precision automatically, and not need
kludges like this.

Who can I email directly about this bug?

--Ken

···

On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 03:17:32 +0900, Robert Dober wrote:

On 2/22/07, Ken Bloom <kbloom@gmail.com> wrote:

--
Ken Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.
http://www.iit.edu/~kbloom1/