salah jubeh wrote:

During my work, I have seen a common practice of using DISTINCT.
Some will argue that developer should know the effect of using
it, but keep in mind not all developers are gurus in RDBMs.
"SELECT DISTINCT eliminates duplicate rows from the result."
Personally, I would not want to keep a programmer who could not
grasp that concept.
Using DISTINCT might lead to a huge performance  degradation
because of sort and filter or hashaggregate operations.
More than that, I have often seen it added when a JOIN was
inadequately constrained and the programmer saw duplicates in the
output and added DISTINCT in response. The problem you have beyond
performance in such cases is that it is usually not showing correct
results; and worse, they are wrong but *plausible*. I would not
want to encourage that kind of sloppy thinking.
I think any query that returns a unique column (primary key,
unique) which is not duplicated in some way (join) can use this
optimisation technique.
I agree that if the planner searched for that, there would be cases
where the DISTINCT keyword could be determined to be a noise word.
The problem with that is that such searching in the planner would
not be free -- doing it accurately would increase planning cost for
every query which was legitimately using the feature. The community
is generally loath to add runtime costs to properly written queries
to try to minimize the penalty paid by those who specify features
they don't need.


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grouppgsql-general @
postedJan 17, '13 at 8:45p
activeJan 18, '13 at 11:05a



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