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I like using null's as God intended them.
However if you feel you just have to change them to some default value then I recommend IFNULL at
I find it easier to understand for the newbie.
COALESCE is also an option. And it might even predate IFNULL. However most people have to go to the manual to find out what that means. And it's probably even more fun to the "English as a second language" crowd.
If you want to get more obscure you could try VALUE which works exactly the same as COALESCE however the manual clearly states: COALESCE should be used for conformance to the SQL 2003 standard.
Which begs the question: Is IFNULL sql standard or should one use COALESCE?
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