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Conventions Used in This Book

This book uses the following typographical conventions:

  • Monospaced font indicates hostnames, filenames, directory names, commands, options, and Web sites.

  • Bold monospaced font is used in command examples to indicate the part that you type.

  • Italic monospaced font is used in commands to indicate where you should substitute a value of your own choosing.

I assume that you enter commands by typing them into a terminal window or console window. To provide context, the prompt in command examples indicates the program from which you run the command. For example, SQL statements that are issued from within the mysql client program are shown preceded by the mysql> prompt. For commands that you issue from your command interpreter, the % prompt usually is used. In general, this prompt indicates commands that can be run either on Unix or Windows, although the particular prompt you see will depend on your command interpreter. (The command interpreter is your login shell on Unix, or cmd.exe or on Windows.) More specialized command-line prompts are #, which indicates a command run on Unix as the root user via su or sudo, and C:\> to indicate a command intended specifically for Windows.

The following example shows a command that should be entered from your command interpreter. The % indicates the prompt, which you do not type. To issue the command, you'd enter the boldface characters as shown, and substitute your own username for the italic word:

% mysql --user=user_name sampdb

In SQL statements, SQL keywords and function names are written in uppercase. Database, table, and column names are written in lowercase.

In syntax descriptions, square brackets ([]) indicate optional information. In lists of alternatives, vertical bar (|) is used as a separator between items. A list enclosed within [] is optional and indicates that an item may be chosen from the list. A list enclosed within {} is mandatory and indicates that an item must be chosen from the list.

The term "Windows NT-based systems" stands collectively for the family of Windows variants that are based on Windows NT, which includes systems such as Windows NT, 2000, XP, and 2003. It does not include Windows 95, 98, or Me.

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