Order by not working

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Order by not working

Dan Nessett
Hello,

I am using "PostgreSQL 9.6.5 on x86_64-apple-darwin, compiled by i686-apple-darwin11-llvm-gcc-4.2 (GCC) 4.2.1 (Based on Apple Inc. build 5658) (LLVM build 2336.11.00), 64-bit"

I am having trouble with a create select statement’s order by clause. The input table, “household_complete_data", (1st 10 rows) looks like this (data hidden for privacy):

household_name, first_name, street_address, city, state, zip, home_phone, home_email, cell, personal_email_primary, personal_email_secondary

"Armstrong” "xxxx” "xxxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx"
"Armstrong” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx" "xxxx” "xxxx"
"Bauer” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” “xxxx” “xxxx"
"Bauer” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx"
"Berst” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx"
"Berst” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx"
"Berst” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx"
"Berst” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx"
"Berst” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx" “xxxx” "xxxx"
"Berst” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx” "xxxx2” xxxx” “xxxx"

To this table I apply the following SQL statement:

CREATE TABLE "household_data" AS
SELECT household_name,
string_agg(household_complete_data.first_name, ', ') AS family_list,
street_address, city, state, zip,
string_agg(COALESCE(household_complete_data.home_phone, '') || ',' || COALESCE(household_complete_data.cell, ''), ',') AS phone_list,
string_agg(COALESCE(household_complete_data.home_email, '') || ',' || COALESCE(household_complete_data.personal_email_primary, '') || ',' || COALESCE(household_complete_data.personal_email_secondary, ''), ',') AS email_list
FROM "household_complete_data"
GROUP BY household_name, street_address, city, state, zip
ORDER BY household_name;

The result is (only the first column is shown):

household_name

"Garcia"
"Armstrong"
"Armstrong"
"Bauer"
"Bauer"
"Berst"
"Berst"
"Minch (xxxx)"
"Berst"
“Besel"

The ORDER BY clause doesn’t seem to work properly (note: “Minch (xxxx)” is an entry for the household name that has the first name in parentheses). All through the table there are random insertions of rows that are out of order with respect to the household_name. This has me stumped. Can anyone give me a hint of what might be going wrong?

Regards,

Dan Nessett

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Re: Order by not working

Peter Coppens
Not sure how you select the household

>
> The result is (only the first column is shown):
>
> household_name
>
> "Garcia"
> "Armstrong"
> "Armstrong"
> "Bauer"
> "Bauer"
> "Berst"
> "Berst"
> "Minch (xxxx)"
> "Berst"
> “Besel”


but unless you select from the resulting table using again an order by, the rows will be returned in an undetermined order. Such is the nature of the relational model - there is no order you can rely on when selecting, unless you specify it

Hth,

Peter

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Re: Order by not working

Dan Nessett
Thanks Peter. The listing of the result is from pg-admin 4.30 using view/edit data applied to the household_data table. In the past this has always returned the table contents in the ORDR BY sort order. Do I need to specify some preference in pg_admin to guarantee this?

Dan

> On Feb 16, 2021, at 11:34 AM, Peter Coppens <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Not sure how you select the household
>
>>
>> The result is (only the first column is shown):
>>
>> household_name
>>
>> "Garcia"
>> "Armstrong"
>> "Armstrong"
>> "Bauer"
>> "Bauer"
>> "Berst"
>> "Berst"
>> "Minch (xxxx)"
>> "Berst"
>> “Besel”
>
>
> but unless you select from the resulting table using again an order by, the rows will be returned in an undetermined order. Such is the nature of the relational model - there is no order you can rely on when selecting, unless you specify it
>
> Hth,
>
> Peter
>



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Re: Order by not working

Ron-2
What would you tell pgadmin?  "Order this particular query -- out of all the billion queries I might write -- in this particular manner?"

No, that's not how things work.  Just add an ORDER BY when you query the table.

On 2/16/21 12:48 PM, Dan Nessett wrote:
Thanks Peter. The listing of the result is from pg-admin 4.30 using view/edit data applied to the household_data table. In the past this has always returned the table contents in the ORDR BY sort order. Do I need to specify some preference in pg_admin to guarantee this?

Dan

On Feb 16, 2021, at 11:34 AM, Peter Coppens [hidden email] wrote:

Not sure how you select the household

The result is (only the first column is shown):

household_name

"Garcia"
"Armstrong"
"Armstrong"
"Bauer"
"Bauer"
"Berst"
"Berst"
"Minch (xxxx)"
"Berst"
“Besel”

but unless you select from the resulting table using again an order by, the rows will be returned in an undetermined order. Such is the nature of the relational model - there is no order you can rely on when selecting, unless you specify it

Hth,

Peter




--
Angular momentum makes the world go 'round.
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Re: Order by not working

Dan Nessett
Thanks,

Dan

On Feb 16, 2021, at 12:11 PM, Ron <[hidden email]> wrote:

What would you tell pgadmin?  "Order this particular query -- out of all the billion queries I might write -- in this particular manner?"

No, that's not how things work.  Just add an ORDER BY when you query the table.

On 2/16/21 12:48 PM, Dan Nessett wrote:
Thanks Peter. The listing of the result is from pg-admin 4.30 using view/edit data applied to the household_data table. In the past this has always returned the table contents in the ORDR BY sort order. Do I need to specify some preference in pg_admin to guarantee this?

Dan

On Feb 16, 2021, at 11:34 AM, Peter Coppens [hidden email] wrote:

Not sure how you select the household

The result is (only the first column is shown):

household_name

"Garcia"
"Armstrong"
"Armstrong"
"Bauer"
"Bauer"
"Berst"
"Berst"
"Minch (xxxx)"
"Berst"
“Besel”
but unless you select from the resulting table using again an order by, the rows will be returned in an undetermined order. Such is the nature of the relational model - there is no order you can rely on when selecting, unless you specify it

Hth,

Peter



--
Angular momentum makes the world go 'round.

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Re: Order by not working

David G Johnston
In reply to this post by Dan Nessett

On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, Dan Nessett <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks Peter. The listing of the result is from pg-admin 4.30 using view/edit data applied to the household_data table. In the past this has always returned the table contents in the ORDR BY sort order. Do I need to specify some preference in pg_admin to guarantee this?

pgAdmin4 might be keying off of the presence of an index, which this table doesn’t have.

David J.
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Re: Order by not working

Dan Nessett
Thanks to those who responded. I have solved my problem by noting the advice to use a select with order by. In particular, I need to export the data to a csv file anyway, so I use the following copy command:

COPY (SELECT household_name, family_list, street_address, city, state, zip, phone_list, email_list
    FROM "household_data" 
    ORDER BY household_name
    )
TO '/tmp/household_data.csv'
WITH (FORMAT CSV, HEADER);

This works.

Regards,

Dan

On Feb 16, 2021, at 12:35 PM, David G. Johnston <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, Dan Nessett <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks Peter. The listing of the result is from pg-admin 4.30 using view/edit data applied to the household_data table. In the past this has always returned the table contents in the ORDR BY sort order. Do I need to specify some preference in pg_admin to guarantee this?

pgAdmin4 might be keying off of the presence of an index, which this table doesn’t have.

David J.

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Re: Order by not working

Ron-2
SQL is only intuitive to people who've done programming... :)

Also, since your table names are only composed of lower case and underscores, the double quotes are not needed.

On 2/16/21 1:41 PM, Dan Nessett wrote:
Thanks to those who responded. I have solved my problem by noting the advice to use a select with order by. In particular, I need to export the data to a csv file anyway, so I use the following copy command:

COPY (SELECT household_name, family_list, street_address, city, state, zip, phone_list, email_list
    FROM "household_data" 
    ORDER BY household_name
    )
TO '/tmp/household_data.csv'
WITH (FORMAT CSV, HEADER);

This works.

Regards,

Dan

On Feb 16, 2021, at 12:35 PM, David G. Johnston <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, Dan Nessett <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks Peter. The listing of the result is from pg-admin 4.30 using view/edit data applied to the household_data table. In the past this has always returned the table contents in the ORDR BY sort order. Do I need to specify some preference in pg_admin to guarantee this?

pgAdmin4 might be keying off of the presence of an index, which this table doesn’t have.

David J.


--
Angular momentum makes the world go 'round.
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Re: Order by not working

Laurenz Albe
On Tue, 2021-02-16 at 16:11 -0600, Ron wrote:
> SQL is only intuitive to people who've done programming... :)

SQL is quite counter-intuitive to people who have only done
procedural programming.

Yours,
Laurenz Albe
--
Cybertec | https://www.cybertec-postgresql.com



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Re: Order by not working

Peter J. Holzer
On 2021-02-17 08:45:05 +0100, Laurenz Albe wrote:
> On Tue, 2021-02-16 at 16:11 -0600, Ron wrote:
> > SQL is only intuitive to people who've done programming... :)
>
> SQL is quite counter-intuitive to people who have only done
> procedural programming.

Yes, different paradigm. SQL is more like a functional or logic
programming language (I often thought that Prolog would make a nice
query language for an RDBMS).

It also fell into what I like to call the COBOL trap: Designing a
language so that looks like normal English in the hope that "ordinary
people" will be able to use it. In reality that doesn't help
non-programmers much (it's still a formal language with precise
semantics and the computer will do what you say, not what you mean), but
makes it harder for programmers.

        hp

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