Notes on database queries

This page will note any special points around how database queries work. These go into some of the technical details of how databases work, but can help you debug situations where a query in your app doesn't work as expected

  • There are certain special words known as "stop words" - these tend to be short, common words which the database will ignore when you query for them, except in the context of phrases. Some examples are "the", "I", or "do"

    • In practice, this means that if you have a query for one of these stop words or a query involving some stop words, the results may not be fully what you expect

    • ‚ÄčHere's a list of stop words affecting Bubble app queries

  • "Stemming" is when databases will generalize a search query to look for other words of the same stem. For example, "test" and "testing" have the same stem, so results with the word "testing" will be found when searching for "test"

    • Stemming matches words with semantically similar meanings, so "temp" and "temps" will match, but "temp" and "tempo" will not because they are not different tenses of the same word; similarly, "test" and "intestine" will not match

(For the more technically inclined, we use PostgreSQL with Snowball)