On David's suggestion, I used a syntax like this:
SELECT * FROM articles LEFT JOIN topics ON topics.topicId = articles.topic
instead of the previous syntax:
SELECT * FROM articles,topics with a complicated AND clauses in the WHERE clause
as the COUNT query encompassing both tables exploded with the old syntax.
Currently the topics machinery presents the topics in alphabetical order and allows the user to select as many as they want (using an OR operator between each). It successfully handles one argument, but can not handle more than one argument.
What I think I'll do is use an "IS IN" operator to handle multiple arguments coming from the query interface.
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The goal of this project is to take a collection of transcripts of new stories from early editions of the Times Colonist newspaper which are currently in text files containing special codes for various bits of information, normalize the records, put them into an SQL database and then write a querying front-end.
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