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mysql sql big selects

mysql sql big selects  using -'mysql,select'

Hey, I've been investigating SQL_BIG_SELECTS, but the MySQL documentation so far has been pretty unhelpful. I'm looking for some insight as to preventing errors like the one below from appearing.

  ERROR 1104: The SELECT would examine too many records and probably take a very long time.
  Check your WHERE and use SET OPTION SQL_BIG_SELECTS=1 if the SELECT is ok

At how many rows does MySQL decide that a query is a "BIG SELECT"?
Will proper indexing usually solve this issue?
Is SQL_BIG_SELECTS considered a "last resort", or is it good practice?
How would someone set "SQL_BIG_SELECTS=1" in configuration (without having to execute the query)?
Are there any other alternatives worth knowing?

Thanks in advance!

asked Sep 16, 2015 by ukohale
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