Got Lost Following NoCoug SQL Challenge?

So did I.

For the last few weeks there were links flying everywhere. Solutions, people commenting on solutions, people commenting on comments, and so on. I got completely lost on who said what to whom. And we are only a month and a half into the competition!

For our collective convenience, I present the definitive list of who said what to whom regarding the NoCoug SQL Challenge. Bravely stolen from Iggy Fernandez by yours truly.

Breaking news:

  1. More prizes! You remember that  the winner will receive six books by his choice from Apress catalog. Apress just donated six more eBooks for the runner ups. I guess they are also overwhelmed by all the great solutions that were sent.
  2. The end date for the competition was not published, but rumors are that it’ll probably happen at the end of June. So if you have a brilliant solution you did not send your results in yet ( , it is time to do so.
  3. Remember the “SQL vs. PL/SQL” debate? (If you don’t there are links below). Iggy asked a bunch of oracle gurus their opinion on the topic and publish an article about it on NoCoug’s Journal (I think we are the only Oracle User Group with a quarterly journal).  NoCoug members will get a copy in the mail, as usual. Non-Members can either register really fast or ask their friends if they can borrow a copy 🙂

Contest announcements:

  1. Official announcement:
  2. Write-up on Chen Shapira’s blog:

Oracle solutions:

  1. Rob van Wijk’s solution using the MODEL clause (Netherlands):
  2. Vadim Tropashko’s solution using Common Table Expressions (USA):
  3. Laurent Schneider’s solution using CONNECT BY and XMLQUERY (Switzerland):
  4. Craig Martin’s solution using CONNECT BY and logarithms (USA):
  5. Alberto Dell’Era’s two solutions using Fourier transforms (Italy):
  6. Fabien (Waldar) Contaminard’s solution using the multinomial distribution (France):

Non-Oracle solutions:

  1. Postgres solution (Romania):


  1. Comment on Alberto Dell’Era’s solution by Jonathan Lewis:
  2. Analysis of Alberto Dell’Era’s solution by Iggy Fernandez:

Debate on the merits of SQL and PL/SQL

  1. Rob van Wijk:
  2. Chen Shapira:
  3. Laurent Schneider:
  4. H.Tonguç Yýlmaz:

Whew, quite a link collection. Now I’m obsessing whether or not I missed anyone!
If I did, let me know if the comments. I’ll keep editing this post with the latest info.


7 Comments on “Got Lost Following NoCoug SQL Challenge?”

  1. not sure if I got my last comment marked as spam, moderated, banned or I simply forgot to click submit but I wanted to mention Vadim solution is not an Oracle solution but an ANSI solution that perhaps will work in the next release of Oracle…

  2. prodlife says:

    Very true!
    I think it’ll be a problem because the judges can’t really test it. But its still a fun solution 🙂

    About your lost comment, I could not find it, but maybe it was automatically marked as spam. It was definitely not moderated or banned!

  3. I probably forgot to click submit… by the way, I censored myself in the repost 😛

  4. prodlife says:

    No need to censor yourself, I can do it for you 😉

  5. […] Chen Shapira is back with a gazetteer for those of us who may have got lost following the NoCoug SQL Challenge. […]

  6. […] love puzzles. So when I heard about the NoCoug SQL Challenge I felt tempted to give it a […]

  7. Chen, you should read André Araujo’s solution from the last trackback, it’s impressive.

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