> Since we haven't yet come up with a reasonable way of machine-editing
> postgresql.conf, this seems like a fairly serious objection to
> getting
> rid of recovery.conf.  I wonder if there's a way we can work around
> that...

Well, we *did* actually come up with a reasonable way, but it died under an 
avalanche of bikeshedding and 
"we-must-do-everything-the-way-we-always-have-done".  I refer, of course, to 
the "configuration directory" patch, which was a fine solution, and would 
indeed take care of the recovery.conf issues as well had we implemented it.  We 
can *still* implement it, for 9.2.
> pg_ctl start -c work_mem=8MB -c recovery_target_time='...'

This wouldn't survive a restart, and isn't compatible with init scripts.

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