Import bug on bug tracker

Stefan Manegold Stefan.Manegold at
Thu Nov 12 13:01:07 CET 2015

Dear Andy,

thank you very much for using MonetDB and for sharing your experiences and problems you encountered.

Please accept our apologies for the inconveniences you experience and for this belated reply.

We --- a small handful of people forming the core MonetDB team of CWI's Database Architectures
research group --- closely follow both our mailing lists and our bug tracker, and we do highly
appreciate any user feedback we receive via these and other channels.

Unfortunately, our resources, both in terms of manpower and time, are finite and vary over time.
After all, our main "business" is performing research and publishing scientific articles.
Maintaining MonetDB and handling user suggestions, request and fixing reported bug largely
happens on a voluntary basis in our spare time. The much we are eager to do more, the much
we face above constraints.

Having said that, quoting in general and backslash ('\') quoting / and handling in general
and in bulk imports (copy into) in particular is not trivial to do entirely "waterproof"
and consistent. We are aware of your bug report and related problems in general, and
fixing this is on our agenda. Unfortunately, in the light what I said above, we currently
cannot give a useful estimate when we'll be able to devote the necessary time and resources
to properly investigate the origin of the problem and solve it.
Please bear with us.

Kind regards,

----- On Nov 11, 2015, at 12:18 PM, andy barlow andy.barlow at wrote:

> Hello there
> I reported what I believe to be a bug in the import routines towards the end of
> September:
> Below is a summary of the issue I encountered, I wasn’t sure if the bug tracker
> is live/active so trying on this mailing list.
> Of course, this may be expected behaviour (though I doubt it) in which case
> would be useful to know.
> [ reply ] [−] Description Andy Barlow 2015-09-25 15:19:43 CEST
> User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_11_1)
> AppleWebKit/601.2.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.0.1 Safari/601.2.4
> Build Identifier:
> If your import file contains a number of character combinations, such as \560,
> \561, \700 and probably lots of others, the copy into fails with a message
> like:
> Failed to import table line 5 field 1 'varchar(20)' expected in 'FIVE\700'
> Reproducible: Always
> Steps to Reproduce:
> 1. create table test (test varchar(20));
> 2. create a load file test.txt with the following:
> FIVE\700
> 3. copy into test from 'test.txt' using delimiters '\t','\n';
> 4. fails with message:
> Failed to import table line 5 field 1 'varchar(20)' expected in 'FIVE\700'
> Actual Results:
> Failed to import table line 5 field 1 'varchar(20)' expected in 'FIVE\700'
> Expected Results:
> should import OK, the character combinations are valid
> [ reply ] [−] Comment 1 Andy Barlow 2015-09-25 16:04:00 CEST
> it appears that the copy command is treating the input as octal.
> If you convert the backslash \ into its octal equivalent, \134 then it “works”.
> In some cases, such as \700 an error is thrown.
> With an import file test.txt:
> ONE\101
> ONE\134101
> When imported into table test (test varchar(20)), you get:
> ONE\101
> So the copy command is converting octal to UTF-8,ASCII equivalen
> Andy Barlow
> t: +44 7830 302268
> ...delivering a measured approach to engineering information
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