Hello all, I’ve come up against some questions and issues as I’ve been working through the course so far that I’d like to discuss before moving on.
I’m struggling to understand the benefits of coding with SQL over just making a database in excel. It seems so time consuming and inefficient. For e.g. if I make a typo with a piece of data in Excel, I just have to double click on the cell and change it, whereas with SQL I have to write a whole line of code with punctuation marks and all the rest of it to achieve the same thing. Will the benefits of building a DB using a terminal and coding language become more apparent as I start using more advanced features?
Another thing is, in Excel, I can see my whole database all the time, and my changes are apparent in real time. I’m finding it very hard to keep my database and multiple tables in my mind as a whole when all I have to look at is a terminal window which uses ASCII characters to display tables. Having to type a command to see my table seems a lot less efficient when compared to building a db in a visual environment like Excel. Is there an editor or coding environment where I can build a database using PSQL which has a UI component which updates in realtime?
My biggest issue moment to moment with the course is that if I make one typo in a command, the whole thing is screwed. Look at this example:
That’s a good few minutes of typing, punctuation marks and capitalisation and all of it, wasted because I forgot to input one piece of data. This happens constantly whilst I’m working through this course. I think a good chunk of the time I spend on each project is spent retyping stuff because I made one typo a few lines into a command. It’s incredibly frustrating, and it makes me feel like I’m playing castlevania for the NES or something where one mistake erases the last few minutes of progress. It’s another thing that makes me wonder what the point is in building databases like this rather than using Excel. My questions are:
- Is there a coding environment which checks for mistakes in syntax as I type, and points out missing parentheses, quote marks, commas, spaces where there shouldn’t be spaces, etc, before I hit enter? Or which allows me to go back and edit a command and resubmit it if there’s a mistake in it?
- Is there a coding environment which isn’t just stark B+W? One which colour codes punctuation marks (there must be a programming-specific name for things like commas and quote marks), text in parentheses, commands like CREATE TABLE etc etc just to make it easier to see if I’m getting the syntax right?
- Can I at least copy and paste code so I don’t have to re-write 20 lines of code that contained a single typo? Copy and paste doesn’t seem to work in the VSCode environ that the course uses.
Finally, is there a convenient resource for exploring PSQL commands and how they work, variations on them, how they can be chained together etc? Googling specific commands and looking for articles which talk about what I’m looking for helps me to an extent, but sometimes I want to explore the possibilities of a command beyond what the lesson provides and I don’t always know what to Google. For e.g., I wanted to see how I can write an UPDATE TABLE command that will update based on multiple conditions at once, rather than typing out two separate UPDATE commands. Or, I wanted to try and CREATE TABLE with all the primary and foreign keys already specified, in one compound command, but I couldn’t figure out the syntax. Is there a resource which allows me to explore all of this sort of thing in one place without Googling and searching for the right website each time?
As you can tell, I’m very new to this world. I’d love to be able to talk about the issues I’m having as I really feel like I’m missing something. I feel like if I had more knowledge, I’d find things easier.
Apologies for the long post. Thank you so, so much to the freecodecamp team for what you’ve created and for the hard work that you all clearly continue to do every day (for e.g. with the current issues of long load times with courses). This is an incredible resource, and the amount of work that clearly has gone and continues to go into it is staggering.
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Challenge: Build a Celestial Bodies Database
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