Limit rows linked to each joined row


I’ve certain situation that requires certain result set from MySQL query, let’s see the current query first & then ask my question:

    			SELECT thread.dateline AS tdateline, post.dateline AS pdateline, MIN(post.dateline)
			FROM thread AS thread
			LEFT JOIN post AS post ON(thread.threadid = post.threadid)
			LEFT JOIN forum AS forum ON(thread.forumid = forum.forumid)
			WHERE post.postid != thread.firstpostid
				AND = 1
				AND thread.visible = 1
				AND thread.replycount >= 1
				AND post.visible = 1
				AND (forum.options & 1)
				AND (forum.options & 2)
				AND (forum.options & 4)
				AND forum.forumid IN(1,2,3)
			GROUP BY post.threadid
			ORDER BY tdateline DESC, pdateline ASC

As you can see, mainly I need to select dateline of threads from ‘thread’ table, in addition to dateline of the second post of each thread, that’s all under the conditions you see in the WHERE CLAUSE. Since each thread has many posts, and I need only one result per thread, I’ve used GROUP BY CLAUSE for that purpose.
This query will return only one post’s dateline with it’s related unique thread.

My questions are:

  1. How to limit returned threads per each forum!? Suppose I need only 5 threads -as a maximum- to be returned for each forum declared in the WHERE CLAUSE ‘forum.forumid IN(1,2,3)’, how can this be achieved.
  2. Is there any recommendations for optimizing this query (of course after solving the first point)?


  • I prefer not to use sub-queries, but if it’s the only solution available I’ll accept it. Double queries not recommended. I’m sure there’s a smart solution for this situation.
  • I’m using MySQL 4.1+, but if you know the answer for another engine, just share.

Appreciated advice in advance :slight_smile:

[google]mysql top n per group[/google]

I’m not sure what features mysql 4.1 supports, so you can sift through the different methods. You might end up doing a separate query to get a list of forums, and using that to build some sql to union a separate select for each forum.

I’ve read multiple tutorials about “MySQL Top N Per Group” but unfortunately can’t apply any of it on my case since I’ve multiple joins & multiple conditions in the same query.
Currently I’ve to use PHP foreach loop to run my query multiple times to get desired results.
I hope any one can help avoiding this loop & running multiple queries by applying “MySQL Top N Per Group” concept or by any better solution.

Appreciated in advance

What you mean is you don’t know how not that it can’t be done. So what have you tried with writing a TOP N per GROUP that doesn’t work on your query? Show us where you’re getting stuck.