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I asked a question about using two different SQL modules in the same Python script.

It already has a downvote, which probably happens, but it doesn't bode well.

There's no code in it, but it is a specific programming question, using specific libraries in a specific language. My question isn't meant to promote discussion. Someone with more Python experience than I have could probably tell me pretty quickly: "Dude, what are you thinking doing that?!" or "Yeah, you can do it, but it's a pain." Or, "Sure you can do it; you have to treat the fields like this ..." Etc.

If the question isn't worth saving/editing, I have no issues deleting it, but could someone please explain why?

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It's not really possible to understand, definitively, why someone downvotes - It currently has 2 upvotes / 1 downvote.. I would say that outweighs it.. It's sitting at +1 – Josh Crozier Oct 4 '13 at 5:06
@dcaswell Yes, the answerer understands it. I appreciate the second opinion. – John Oct 4 '13 at 5:16
@JoshC You're absolutely right, on all counts. – John Oct 4 '13 at 5:23
Yea, everyone in the community views things differently. Fortunately, there are good people that saw this and upvoted it to counter act the downvote. – Josh Crozier Oct 4 '13 at 5:25
I wouldn't sweat it. As perplexing as it is, I wouldn't worry about it unless you see some specific comments, or if you start to see a pattern of down votes. Many of us have been been subject to a random, unexplained down vote or two, so you're not alone. I'd bet it was some knee-jerk reaction to your failure to include the relevant code snippet that generated the curious output, but I can't say. I'd let it go for now. – Robert Ryan Oct 4 '13 at 5:32
If you ask about the towels on SO, don't be suprised with downvotes. Oh, I see, your question isn't about the towels. So why on hell you are referring towels in the title? – Danubian Sailor Oct 4 '13 at 6:56
@ŁukaszLech "Throw in the towel" is an idiom that means "give up." (It's a boxing reference, I think: someone throws the towel into the ring to stop the fight.) – John Oct 4 '13 at 7:05
@John I don't think SO is good place for using idioms. Especially in questions. Someone could find it too chatty or not understand it. Or think you try to trick too much traffic with such title. I'm only speculating of potential reasons for downvote. Language aspects are also one of them. – Danubian Sailor Oct 4 '13 at 7:07
SSCCE to demonstrate this problem would be too hard to post? Just asking. – Mołot Oct 4 '13 at 7:24
@ŁukaszLech Idioms are a part of the English language and it's not exactly that easy to avoid them especially for native speakers. – Szymon Oct 4 '13 at 7:33
@ŁukaszLech Point taken. And to your credit, you speak English far better than I speak Polish. (W rzeczywistości, chciałbym być całkowicie zależne od Google Translate to zrobić.) – John Oct 4 '13 at 7:35
@Mołot The question was a level up from the specific problem I was having. True, I was having issues joining tables with decimal types, but that was a symptom of me adding in the extra database engine. My question was more: "Is it more trouble than it's worth to do it this way?" – John Oct 4 '13 at 7:42
@John when stated like that it looks like primarily opinion based ;) And I wasn't saying it's worth downvotes. Simply I don't know python well enough to test it all on my own and I do like to play with database engines, so SSCCE would help me get a bit of hands-on insight. – Mołot Oct 4 '13 at 7:45
@Mołot For the record, the answer I accepted (a) gave what amounts to an SSCCE of one symptom of my problem, (b) showed how to fix that problem, and (c) made clear the larger problem I would need to get around (the DB engines handle storing and translating types differently by default). An outstanding answer. (Both answers were great, actually!) – John Oct 4 '13 at 8:08
up vote 5 down vote accepted


I didn't vote on this question and probably wouldn't have either way - if I saw it in the review queue I'd be selecting No Action Needed. But if I look at it critically - why would somebody downvote this?, I do see a couple of issues that could attract a downvote:

  • The title
  • The summarizing paragraph
  • The phrasing of the actual question


As have been mentioned in the comments, the title is not great:

Using mysqldb and sqlite3 in the same Python 2.7 script: Should I throw in the towel?

It seems long and convoluted, and I would personally save the idiom for the body of the text.

Looking at the paragraph summarizing your question:

My question: Am I asking for a world of pain continuing down this path, or is there an easy way to get MySQLdb and sqlite3 libraries to play together? If there isn't, then I'll install a MySQL server and refactor my code to use MySQL only.

At a quick glance this could easily look like something that would attract opinion-based answers. Am I asking... is a yes/no question, so what I believe to be the question itself is kinda hidden in the paragraph and the last thing one reads in the paragraph labeled My question isn't a question, it is a statement.

The question part of the paragraph is:

Am I asking for a world of pain continuing down this path, or is there an easy way to get MySQLdb and sqlite3 libraries to play together?

But in essence, your real question is:

Is there an easy way to get MySQLdb and sqlite3 libraries to play together.

As I read your question that is the central sentence and it doesn't really stand out. As it is still a yes/no question with an implicit how? embedded, it could even be further improved by rephrasing to a How do I... type question.

All that said, don't sweat it. Downvotes arrive both with and without good cause, as do upvotes. Usually they balance each other out.

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