I have been writing a lot of code that has been interacting with MySQL lately. Sometimes I find it easier to work the result set in a dictionary form and other times it is easier with an array. But in order to not break all your code, it is necessary to set a default cursor class that keeps your code consistent. More often than not, I find using using a arrays is easier since I just want quick access to all the retrieved data. I also end up making my SELECT calls while specifying the columns and order of the columns I want returned.
The reason that using cursor classes is handy is because Python doesn’t come with a mysql_fetch_assoc like PHP or selectrow_hashref like Perl’s DBI interface. Python uses cursor dictionaries to bridge this gap. Ultimately your result is the same. But as with Perl and PHP, defaulting to cursor dictionaries isn’t a good idea for larger datasets because of the extra processing time and memory required to convert the data.
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