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Wöchentlicher PostgreSQL Newsletter - 28. Oktober 2007

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== Wöchentlicher PostgreSQL Newsletter - 28. Oktober 2007 ==

8.3 Beta 2 wird bald erscheinen, Danke fürs Testen. Testet noch
etwas mehr.

== PostgreSQL Produkt Neuigkeiten ==

MicroOLAP Database Designer 1.2.2 für PostgreSQL erschienen.

Npgsql 1.0.1 erschienen.

Debian hat jetzt orafce Pakete.

PgBouncer 1.1.1 Bugfix Release ist erschienen.

pgpool-II 1.3 erschienen.

== PostgreSQL Jobs im Oktober ==

== PostgreSQL Lokal ==

Das Eröffnungsmeeting der New Zealand PUG wird in Wellington am
06. November 2007 stattfinden. Details unter:

Es gibt ein neues deutsches PostgreSQL Jobforum.

== PostgreSQL in den News ==

Planet PostgreSQL:

General Bits, Archive und gelegentliche News Artikel:

Dieser wöchentliche PostgreSQL Newsletter wurde erstellt von David Fetter

Sende Neuigkeiten und Ankündigungen bis Sonntag, 15 Uhr Pazifischer
Please send English language ones to, German language
to, Italian language to

== Angewandte Patches ==

Peter Eisentraut committed:

- Translation updates.

Bruce Momjian committed:

- Update release notes to current CVS.

- Add plpgsql doc example of RETURN NEXT. Ulrich Kroener

- Set Japanese FAQ character code to UTF-8. Jun Kuwamura

- Remove use of "Postgres" aliases in the FAQ in second-in-paragraph

- Remove second-in-paragraph usage of "Postgres" from FAQ_DEV.

Alvaro Herrera committed:

- Minor changes to autovacuum worker: change error handling so that it
continues with the next table on schedule instead of exiting, in all
cases instead of just on query cancel. Add a errcontext() line
indicating the activity of the worker to the error message when it
is cancelled. Change the WorkerInfo struct to contain a pointer to
the worker's PGPROC instead of just the PID. Add forgotten
post-auth delays, per Simon Riggs. Also to autovac launcher.

- In pgsql/src/bin/initdb/initdb.c, change Danish_Danmark to

- Rearrange vacuum-related bits in PGPROC as a bitmask, to better
support having several of them. Add two more flags: whether the
process is executing an ANALYZE, and whether a vacuum is for Xid
wraparound (which is obviously only set by autovacuum). Sneakily
move the worker's recently-acquired PostAuthDelay to a more useful

- In pgsql/src/port/chklocale.c, add new encoding aliases for Solaris,
per Zdenek Kotala.

- Use more real-world examples in the text search parser documentation

- In pgsql/src/backend/postmaster/autovacuum.c, extract catalog info
for error reporting before an error actually happens. Also, remove
redundant reset of for-wraparound PGPROC flag. Thanks to Tom Lane
for noticing both bogosities.

- Allow an autovacuum worker to be interrupted automatically when it
is found to be locking another process (except when it's working to
prevent Xid wraparound problems). Simon Riggs

Magnus Hagander committed:

- Use snprintf instead of wsprintf, and use getenv("APPDATA") instead
of SHGetFolderPath. This removes the direct dependency on
shell32.dll and user32.dll, which eats a lot of "desktop heap" for
each backend that's started. The desktop heap is a very limited
resource, causing backends to no longer start once it's been
exhausted. We still have indirect depdendencies on user32.dll
through third party libraries, but those can't easily be removed.
Patch by Dave Page with editorializing by Tom Lane.

- Change win32 child-death tracking code to use a threadpool to wait
for childprocess deaths instead of using one thread per child. This
drastastically reduces the address space usage and should allow for
more backends running. Also change the win32_waitpid functionality
to use an IO Completion Port for queueing child death notices
instead of using a fixed-size array.

Tom Lane committed:

- Adjust ts_debug's output as per my proposal of yesterday: show the
active dictionary and its output lexemes as separate columns,
instead of smashing them into one text column, and lowercase the
column names. Also, define the output rowtype using OUT parameters
instead of a composite type, to be consistent with the other
built-in functions.

- Clarify example of planner cost computation, per a suggestion from
James Shaw. Also update a couple of examples to reflect 8.3's
improved plan-printing code.

- Fix several bugs in tsvectorin, including crash due to uninitialized
field and miscomputation of required palloc size. The crash could
only occur if the input contained lexemes both with and without
positions, which is probably not common in practice. The
miscomputation would definitely result in wasted space. Also fix
some inconsistent coding around alignment of strings and positions
in a tsvector value; these errors could also lead to crashes given
mixed with/without position data and a machine that's picky about
alignment. And be more careful about checking for overflow of
string offsets. Patch is only against HEAD --- I have not looked to
see if same bugs are in back-branch contrib/tsearch2 code.

- Fix two-argument form of ts_rewrite() so it actually works for cases
where a later rewrite rule should change a subtree modified by an
earlier one. Per my gripe of a few days ago.

- Rename and slightly redefine the default text search parser's "word"
categories, as per discussion. asciiword (formerly lword) is still
ASCII-letters-only, and numword (formerly word) is still the most
general mixed-alpha-and-digits case. But word (formerly nlword) is
now any-group-of-letters-with-at-least-one-non-ASCII, rather than
all-non-ASCII as before. This is no worse than before for parsing
mixed Russian/English text, which seems to have been the design
center for the original coding; and it should simplify matters for
parsing most European languages. In particular it will not be
necessary for any language to accept strings containing digits as
being regular "words". The hyphenated-word categories are adjusted

- Make configure probe for the location of the <uuid.h> header file.
Needed to accommodate different layout on some platforms (Debian for
one). Heikki Linnakangas

- Remove the aggregate form of ts_rewrite(), since it doesn't work as
desired if there are zero rows to aggregate over, and the API seems
both conceptually and notationally ugly anyway. We should look for
something that improves on the tsquery-and-text-SELECT version
(which is also pretty ugly but at least it works...), but it seems
that will take query infrastructure that doesn't exist today. (Hm,
I wonder if there's anything in or near SQL2003 window functions
that would help?) Per discussion.

- Set read_only = TRUE while evaluating input queries for ts_rewrite()
and ts_stat(), per my recent suggestion. Also add a
possibly-not-needed- but-can't-hurt check for NULL SPI_tuptable,
before we try to dereference same.

- In pgsql/src/backend/access/heap/pruneheap.c, keep heap_page_prune
from marking the buffer dirty when it didn't really change anything.
Per report from Itagaki Takahiro. Fix by Pavan Deolasee.

- Fix UPDATE/DELETE WHERE CURRENT OF to support repeated update and
update- then-delete on the current cursor row. The basic fix is
that nodeTidscan.c has to apply heap_get_latest_tid() to the
current-scan-TID obtained from the cursor query; this ensures we get
the latest row version to work with. However, since that only works
if the query plan is a TID scan, we also have to hack the planner to
make sure only that type of plan will be selected. (Formerly, the
planner might decide to apply a seqscan if the table is very small.
This change is probably a Good Thing anyway, since it's hard to see
how a seqscan could really win.) That means the execQual.c code to
support CurrentOfExpr as a regular expression type is dead code, so
replace it with just an elog(). Also, add regression tests covering
these cases. Note that the added tests expose the fact that
re-fetching an updated row misbehaves if the cursor used FOR UPDATE.
That's an independent bug that should be fixed later. Per report
from Dharmendra Goyal.

- Fix an error in make_outerjoininfo introduced by my patch of 30-Aug:
the code neglected to test whether an outer join's join-condition
actually refers to the lower outer join it is looking at. (The
comment correctly described what was supposed to happen, but the
code didn't do it...) This often resulted in adding an unnecessary
constraint on the join order of the two outer joins, which was bad
enough. However, it also seems to expose a performance problem in
an older patch (from 15-Feb): once we've decided that there is a
join ordering constraint, we will start trying clauseless joins
between every combination of rels within the constraint, which
pointlessly eats up lots of time and space if there are numerous
rels below the outer join. That probably needs to be revisited :-(.
Per gripe from Jakub Ouhrabka.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/ref/fetch.sgml, remove obsolete statement that
you can't update through a cursor.

- Disallow scrolling of FOR UPDATE/FOR SHARE cursors, so as to avoid
problems in corner cases such as re-fetching a just-deleted row. We
may be able to relax this someday, but let's find out how many
people really care before we invest a lot of work in it. Per report
from Heikki and subsequent discussion. While in the neighborhood,
make the combination of INSENSITIVE and FOR UPDATE throw an error,
since they are semantically incompatible. (Up to now we've accepted
but just ignored the INSENSITIVE option of DECLARE CURSOR.)

- Tweak new error messages to match the actual syntax of DECLARE
CURSOR. (Last night I copied-and-pasted from the WITH HOLD case,
but that's wrong because of the bizarrely irregular syntax specified
by the standard.)

- Fix ALTER SEQUENCE so that it does not affect the value of currval()
for the sequence. Also, make setval() with is_called = false not
affect the currval state, either. Per report from Kris Jurka that
an implicit ALTER SEQUENCE OWNED BY unexpectedly caused currval() to
become valid. Since this isn't 100% backwards compatible, it will
go into HEAD only; I'll put a more limited patch into 8.2.

- In pgsql/src/backend/postmaster/autovacuum.c, fix memory management
for new variables -- they must actually survive transaction end, in
case we decide to do a vacuum analyze (which is done in two xacts).

- Ugly patch to make ALTER SEQUENCE OWNED BY not affect the currval()
state of the sequence. Since OWNED BY never existed before 8.2,
this seems unlikely to create any compatibility issues. Other forms
of ALTER SEQUENCE continue to do what they did before, namely update
currval to match the sequence's actual last_val. That seems wrong
on consideration, but we'll not change it in a minor release --- 8.3
will make that fix.

- Make initdb's selection of default text search configuration depend
only on the 'language' part of the locale name, ignoring the country
code. We may need to be smarter later when there are more built-in
configurations, but for now this is good enough and avoids having to
bloat the table.

- Avoid including any backend-only stuff in the zic utility program.
Per gripe from Zdenek Kotala, though not exactly his patch.

- Avoid having backend-only code compiled into ecpg. Per Zdenek

- Change have_join_order_restriction() so that we do not force a
clauseless join if either of the input relations can legally be
joined to any other rels using join clauses. This avoids uselessly
(and expensively) considering a lot of really stupid join paths when
there is a join restriction with a large footprint, that is, lots of
relations inside its LHS or RHS. My patch of 15-Feb-2007 had been
causing the code to consider joining every combination of rels
inside such a group, which is exponentially bad :-(. With this
behavior, clauseless bushy joins will be done if necessary, but
they'll be put off as long as possible. Per report from Jakub
Ouhrabka. Backpatch to 8.2. We might someday want to backpatch to
8.1 as well, but 8.1 does not have the problem for OUTER JOIN nests,
only for IN-clauses, so it's not clear anyone's very likely to hit
it in practice; and the current patch doesn't apply cleanly to 8.1.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/textsearch.sgml, minor wording improvements
per suggestion from Jeff Davis. Also tweak hyphenated-word parser
examples per earlier discussion with Alvaro.

- Stamp 8.3beta2.

- Avoid considering both sort directions as equally useful for
merging. This doubles the planning workload for mergejoins while
not actually accomplishing much. The only useful case is where one
of the directions matches the query's ORDER BY request; therefore,
put a thumb on the scales in that direction, and otherwise
arbitrarily consider only the ASC direction. (This is a lot easier
now than it would've been before 8.3, since we have more semantic
knowledge embedded in PathKeys now.)

- In pgsql/src/backend/tsearch/wparser_def.c, add some rudimentary
tracing code to the default text search parser, to help in debugging
its state-machine rules. Const-ify all the constant tables. Minor
other code cleanup, including using "token" rather than "lexeme" to
describe the output strings.

- Change text search parsing rules for hyphenated words so that digit
strings containing decimal points aren't considered part of a
hyphenated word. Sync the hyphenated-word lookahead states with the
subsequent part-by-part reparsing states so that we don't get
different answers about how much text is part of the hyphenated
word. Per my gripe of a few days ago.

- Fix a couple of issues with pg_dump's handling of inheritance child
tables that have default expressions different from their parent.
First, if the parent table's default expression has to be split out
as a separate ALTER TABLE command, we need a dependency constraint
to ensure that the child's command is given second. This is because
the ALTER TABLE on the parent will propagate to the child. (We
can't prevent that by using ONLY on the parent's command, since it's
possible that other children exist that should receive the inherited
default.) Second, if the child has a NULL default where the parent
does not, we have to explicitly say DEFAULT NULL on the child in
order for this state to be preserved after reload. (The latter
actually doesn't work right because of a backend bug, but that is a
separate issue.) Backpatch as far as 8.0. 7.x pg_dump has enough
issues with altered tables (due to lack of dependency analysis) that
trying to fix this one doesn't seem very productive.

- Make pg_dump and friends consistently report both the filename and
the errno string when complaining of fopen failures. Per gripe from
Bob Pawley, it's not always instantly obvious to the user which name
we tried to open.

- Update FAQ_IRIX to reflect current realities about IRIX compilers.

- Ooops, fat-fingered last commit message. Should have mentioned
updating FAQ_IRIX for information about buggy MIPSPro compiler
version, now confirmed by Herve Boulouis.

== Abgelehnte Patches (bis jetzt) ==

No one was disappointed this week :-)

== Eingesandte Patches ==

ITAGAKI Takahiro sent in a patch to fix locking in pgstattuple.

Pavel Stehule sent in a patch to implement EXECUTE USING, which lets
people send parameters to dynamically created SQL in a fashion
analogous to PREPARE/EXECUTE in PL/PgSQL.

Gokulakannan Somasun sent in two revisions of a patch which lets
people add snapshot information to indexes.

Heikki Linnakangas sent in a patch which adds some autoconf magic to
fix uuid.h on Debian.

Alvaro Herrera sent in two revisions of a patch which turns a few
boolean vacuum flags in PGPROC into a bitmask.

Zdenek Kotala sent in a patch intended to clean up some headers.

Joe Conway sent in three revisions of a patch to fix crosstab in
contrib/ for NULL-handling.

Kenneth Marshall sent in a patch to implement the 2006 version of the
hash function by Bob Jenkins.
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