I have the following code in MariaDB that was working perfectly well yesterday. It calculates a rank and orders by the data by another column:

SET @c = (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM myTable);
SET @rownum = 0;
UPDATE myTable
SET rank = (100 / @c) * (@rownum:= 1 + @rownum)
ORDER BY anotherColumn DESC LIMIT 100000;

Today I executed it and the first time through it gave the wrong ranking values. I don't think the SET @rownum = 0 had worked. Now it seems to be working fine again.

Does anyone know why it would work perfectly yesterday and then stop working today and behave so strangely?

I believe the @c is the variable that isn't updating when I add a new row. Does anyone know how to force it to recalculate @c based on the current data in the table?

I don't think the connection dropped out because I created the new row immediately after using HeidiSQL. I don't understand how it can even use an old value. If that was JavaScript, you would just get an error.

I'm using MariaDB version 5.2

  • 2
    Not the clearest clearest description however SET @c SET @rownum are session specific and not global so it might have dropped connection before the UPDATE was run. Note that this might be easier written as a window frame that has rank and row_number window functions. What wrong ranking values did you have?
    – danblack
    May 28, 2021 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


MariaDB 5.2 is really old. Upgrade.

MariaDB 10.2 (and MySQL 8.0) have RANK and other "windowing functions" to assist with your query.

Setting @variables inside SELECTs should not be trusted. Rewrite the query to avoid them.

Updating everyone's rank all the time will be a performance drag when you have a lot of users.

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