From: abazan at filnet dot es
Operating system: --
PHP version: 4.3.2
PHP Bug Type: Feature/Change Request
Bug description: sybase_fetch_array() "identical field names" feature

Description:
------------
Hello, I was recently shocked when I discovered the implementation of
Sybase "identical fields".

The PHP manual for sybase_fetch_array() reads:

<snip>
Note: When selecting fields with identical names (for instance, in a
join),
the associative indices will have a sequential number prepended. See the
example for details.
</snip>

I would like to say that I am against implementing these sort of
repetitive
field returns. If a programmer wants multiple (identically named) fields
returned, they can always modify their SQL statement to reflect unique
field names:

select t1.id as id1, t2.id as id2 from t1,t2

PHP should NOT be mangling field names returned from the database driver,
it should simply return the name-value of the LAST field of any given
name.


However, if this is to be kept in the code, there are a few important
considerations that should be taken into account regarding the
implementation:

1st. Upgading PHP. There are loads of cases where you can find in a
database different tables with some identical field names. I know this is
poor database design, but sometimes you find that you have to work with a
design where this occurs. With this new feature on sybase_fetch_array()
all
the code where one just assumed that the returned value for field X was
from the last table selected, MUST BE RE-WRITTEN.

2nd. IMHO, the implementation of this feature is very poor. When you have
a
JOIN over two tables and they have more that one field with the same
name:

table A:
id
date
user
afield

table B:
id
date
user
bfield

the resulting join will result in

id
date
user
id1
date2
user3
afield
bfield

A single numeric index is incremented for all repetitive fields, making
it
impossible to make it dynamic. (if you made a select using different
fields
you will get different field names!!!)
I suggest correcting this implementation to return field names as
follows:

id
date
user
id1
date1
user1
afield
bfield

One counter for each repeated field instead of one unique counter for ALL
fields.

3rd. Last but not least... This is a feature only implemented in Sybase
library functions, so when creating cross-db applications, it is much
more
difficult to implement generic code.

I would appreciate hearing from the PHP Team about this.
Thanks in advance,

Alex

----------------------------
Alex Bazan
abazan at filnet dot es


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