13 Apr 2009

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (contemplation)
I know there's a way to do it, but I'm not sure of that exact way, and I'm pretty sure whatever I come up with is gonna be so convoluted as to be worthless in the end. GAH.

Okay, someone on my flist has got to know this one: if I have a field in a MySQL db that contains an array (say, carrots, tomatoes, squash), I've no problem getting it in and no problem getting it out. (Mostly.) What I don't know is whether the search function to find that array again -- or any like it -- would require precision or could be relatively sloppy.

I mean, if I search for all fields that contain "carrots, tomatoes, squash," would I get back every field that has any of the three, or would I get back all fields with all three only if they're in the same order, or would I get back any in any order plus fields that also contain "kumquat"? (I've always treated arrays like some kinda black hole of SQL, where you put info in and it's only good as long as you don't try to do anything else with it...)

It comes down to not being sure whether I can preempt an existing db's design to insert arrays that I know I can later search/reproduce -- or if I'll need to create a new table and slot these things in separately. Unfortunately, the create-a-new-table operation would be even more hassle, given I've got to deal with WP's functions to get in and out of it, and they're not always quite as intuitive as I'd like.

So. Anyone?