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new timestamp fields


Hello all,

In MySQL/MariaDB 5.1, when a timestamp field was used as a key, we used an
integer compare to compare the fields. We assumed all integer fields
(including date, time, and timestamp) could use an integer comparison to
compare the fields, and that they were either 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8 bytes long.

We now see in MariaDB 5.3 and beyond that changes have been made to the
timestamp field, such that the length of the field may be something other
than 1, 2, 3, 4,or 8 bytes.

Given a timestamp field of N bytes, how are we meant to compare them? Are
some meant to be integer comparisons? Are others supposed to be memory


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