Calculating LIMIT Values from Expressions

3.20.1 Problem

You want to use expressions to specify the arguments for LIMIT.

3.20.2 Solution

Sadly, you cannot. You can use only literal integersunless you issue the query from within a program, in which case you can evaluate the expressions yourself and stick the resulting values into the query string.

3.20.3 Discussion

Arguments to LIMIT must be literal integers, not expressions. Statements such as the following are illegal:

SELECT * FROM profile LIMIT 5+5;
SELECT * FROM profile LIMIT @skip_count, @show_count;

The same "no expressions allowed" principle applies if you're using an expression to calculate a LIMIT value in a program that constructs a query string. You must evaluate the expression first, then place the resulting value in the query. For example, if you produce a query string in Perl (or PHP) as follows, an error will result when you attempt to execute the query:

$str = "SELECT * FROM profile LIMIT $x + $y";

To avoid the problem, evaluate the expression first:

$z = $x + $y;
$str = "SELECT * FROM profile LIMIT $z";

Or do this (but don't omit the parentheses or the expression won't evaluate properly):

$str = "SELECT * FROM profile LIMIT " . ($x + $y);

If you're constructing a two-argument LIMIT clause, evaluate both expressions before placing them into the query string.

Using the mysql Client Program

Writing MySQL-Based Programs

Record Selection Techniques

Working with Strings

Working with Dates and Times

Sorting Query Results

Generating Summaries

Modifying Tables with ALTER TABLE

Obtaining and Using Metadata

Importing and Exporting Data

Generating and Using Sequences

Using Multiple Tables

Statistical Techniques

Handling Duplicates

Performing Transactions

Introduction to MySQL on the Web

Incorporating Query Resultsinto Web Pages

Processing Web Input with MySQL

Using MySQL-Based Web Session Management

Appendix A. Obtaining MySQL Software

Appendix B. JSP and Tomcat Primer

Appendix C. References

MySQL Cookbook
MySQL Cookbook
ISBN: 059652708X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 412
Authors: Paul DuBois

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