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I had created a table a while back and started adding data to it. Recently I added a new column (address) to it with NOT NULL as part of the new column. The old rows (pre-addition) are still null, which created a warning as part of the definition. However, new rows with the new column are still being allowed to insert nulls.

Is the new column's pre-addition nulls the source of them being allowed? If so, is there a way to tell MySQL to not allow it even though it was before?

mysql> show create table my_table\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
       Table: my_table
Create Table: CREATE TABLE `my_table` (
  `entry_id` int(11) NOT NULL auto_increment,
  `address` varchar(512) NOT NULL,
  `follow_up_to` int(11) default NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY  (`entry_id`),
  KEY `follow_up_to` (`follow_up_to`),
  CONSTRAINT `my_table_ibfk_1` 
     FOREIGN KEY (`follow_up_to`) 
     REFERENCES `my_table` (`entry_id`) ON UPDATE CASCADE
) ENGINE=InnoDB AUTO_INCREMENT=535 DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql>
share|improve this question
1  
It's not setting it to NULL. MySQL thinks it's smarter than you and converts it to an empty string. –  a_horse_with_no_name Jan 30 '12 at 13:01

1 Answer 1

What version of mysql is this?

What mode are you running in?

SELECT @@GLOBAL.SQL_MODE, @@SESSION.SQL_MODE;

(This should be run in the context of your application, just in case it is changing it).

MySQL is documented thus: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/data-type-defaults.html

As of MySQL 5.0.2, if a column definition includes no explicit DEFAULT value, MySQL determines the default value as follows:

If the column can take NULL as a value, the column is defined with an explicit DEFAULT NULL clause. This is the same as before 5.0.2.

If the column cannot take NULL as the value, MySQL defines the column with no explicit DEFAULT clause. For data entry, if an INSERT or REPLACE statement includes no value for
the column, MySQL handles the column according to the SQL mode in effect at the time:

If strict SQL mode is not enabled, MySQL sets the column to the implicit default value for the column data type. 

My own testing fails to duplicate your issue

mysql> CREATE TABLE `my_table` (
    ->   `entry_id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
    ->   `address` varchar(512) NOT NULL,
    ->   `follow_up_to` int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
    ->   PRIMARY KEY (`entry_id`),
    ->   KEY `follow_up_to` (`follow_up_to`)
    -> ) ENGINE=InnoDB AUTO_INCREMENT=536 DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;
Query OK, 0 rows affected, 2 warnings (0.16 sec)

mysql> INSERT INTO my_table VALUES (NULL, NULL, NULL);
ERROR 1048 (23000): Column 'address' cannot be null
mysql> INSERT INTO my_table (follow_up_to) VALUES (NULL);
Query OK, 1 row affected, 1 warning (0.10 sec)

mysql> SHOW WARNINGS;
+---------+------+----------------------------------------------+
| Level   | Code | Message                                      |
+---------+------+----------------------------------------------+
| Warning | 1364 | Field 'address' doesn't have a default value |
+---------+------+----------------------------------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM my_table;
+----------+---------+--------------+
| entry_id | address | follow_up_to |
+----------+---------+--------------+
|      537 |         |         NULL |
+----------+---------+--------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

The fact the old data had nulls shouldn't matter. The Alter table should have 'truncated' the nulls into empty strings

mysql> SHOW CREATE TABLE my_table\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
       Table: my_table
Create Table: CREATE TABLE `my_table` (
  `entry_id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  `address` varchar(512) NOT NULL,
  `follow_up_to` int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`entry_id`),
  KEY `follow_up_to` (`follow_up_to`)
) ENGINE=InnoDB AUTO_INCREMENT=536 DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1
1 row in set (0.04 sec)

mysql> ALTER TABLE my_table MODIFY address VARCHAR(512) NULL DEFAULT NULL;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.76 sec)
Records: 1  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

mysql> INSERT INTO my_table VALUES (NULL, NULL, NULL), (NULL, NULL, NULL);
Query OK, 2 rows affected (0.05 sec)
Records: 2  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

mysql> SELECT * FROM my_table;
+----------+---------+--------------+
| entry_id | address | follow_up_to |
+----------+---------+--------------+
|      535 |         |         NULL |
|      536 | NULL    |         NULL |
|      537 | NULL    |         NULL |
+----------+---------+--------------+
3 rows in set (0.04 sec)

mysql> ALTER TABLE my_table MODIFY address VARCHAR(512) NOT NULL;
Query OK, 3 rows affected, 2 warnings (0.83 sec)
Records: 3  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 2

mysql> SHOW WARNINGS;
+---------+------+----------------------------------------------+
| Level   | Code | Message                                      |
+---------+------+----------------------------------------------+
| Warning | 1265 | Data truncated for column 'address' at row 2 |
| Warning | 1265 | Data truncated for column 'address' at row 3 |
+---------+------+----------------------------------------------+
2 rows in set (0.04 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM my_table;
+----------+---------+--------------+
| entry_id | address | follow_up_to |
+----------+---------+--------------+
|      535 |         |         NULL |
|      536 |         |         NULL |
|      537 |         |         NULL |
+----------+---------+--------------+
3 rows in set (0.04 sec)

mysql> INSERT INTO my_table VALUES (NULL, NULL, NULL), (NULL, NULL, NULL);
Query OK, 2 rows affected, 2 warnings (0.08 sec)
Records: 2  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 2

mysql> SELECT * FROM my_table;
+----------+---------+--------------+
| entry_id | address | follow_up_to |
+----------+---------+--------------+
|      535 |         |         NULL |
|      536 |         |         NULL |
|      537 |         |         NULL |
|      538 |         |         NULL |
|      539 |         |         NULL |
+----------+---------+--------------+
5 rows in set (0.05 sec)
share|improve this answer
    
Nice answer, Kormoc, and that is some thorough testing. +1 for sql_mode indication. –  Derek Downey Jan 30 '12 at 14:29
    
ugh, that is dumb. damn you mysql. so much for type and not null checks. –  stantonk yesterday

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