Re: SQL question

  • From: William Robertson <william@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 08:11:44 +0100

Agreed, this has nothing to do with SQL. SQL*Plus reports results in columns - that's the way it's built and you can't turn it off by changing settings. "SET COLSEP ," merely changes the character between columns from a single space to a single comma, it's not going to collapse each row into a comma-separated list. You have to do that manually.

btw those CHAR(1) columns are asking for trouble. I would make them VARCHAR2(1). You are not supposed to actually use CHAR, it's there to look good on ANSI compatibility checklists.

-----Original message-----
From: Mark Brinsmead
Date: 14/10/08 05:36
Actually, this does not appear to be a "SQL" question, nearly so much as a SQL*Plus question. Unless I am completely mising something, anyway.

SQL*Plus is trying to do you a favour, and format your output "nicely" in human readable columns. There is nothing wrong with your data, nor with your query -- attempts to use INSTR and SUBSTR to remove the trailing blanks from your data are doomed to failure. Because there are no blanks. Remember, SQL*Plus is really -- as much as anything -- a report writing tool.

Sadly, I don't have the answer right at my fingertips, but the prior suggestion of COLSEP was probably on the right track (assuming that it is not, in fact, the correct answer). A few minutes with the SQL*Plus documentation ought to get you what you need.

On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 5:34 PM, William Wagman <wjwagman@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:wjwagman@xxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:


    Running Oracle on RHEL4, 64-bit.


    foo VARCHAR2(300)
    bar CHAR(1)
    baz CHAR(1)




    select foo,bar,baz
    from mytable


somelongishstring ,A,B shorterstring ,A,C shorter ,A,D



    SQL> select substr(foo,0,instr(foo,' ',0,1)),bar,baz from mytable;

    Does not work, because there's no space in the data, INSTR(FOO,'
    ') returns zero and so SUBSTR(foo,0,0) returns an empty string. >
    Is there any way to achieve the desired result in vanilla SQL*Plus
    short of the following (which looks like line noise), or resorting
    to PL/SQL or some other language (Perl, Java, ...)?

    select foo||','||bar||','||baz
    from mytable <>

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