On 18 March 2012 15:08, Tom Lane <t...@sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:
> One other thing I've always wondered about in this connection is the
> general performance of sorting toasted datums.  Is it better to detoast
> them in every comparison, or pre-detoast to save comparison cycles at
> the cost of having to push much more data around?  I didn't see any
> discussion of this point in Robert's benchmarks, but I don't think we
> should go very far towards enabling sortsupport for text until we
> understand the issue and know whether we need to add more infrastructure
> for it.  If you cross your eyes a little bit, this is very much like
> the strxfrm question...

I see the parallels. I note that glibc's strcoll_l() is implemented
entirely in C (strcoll() itself is implemented in terms of strcoll_l()
), whereas the various strcmp.S are written in hand-optimized
assembler, with SSE3 instructions in the "Highly optimized version for
x86-64", for example. I wonder just how important a factor that is. I
suppose the reason why the glibc guys haven't just done something
equivalent internally might be that they much prefer to perform the
comparison in-place, due to the need to target a conservative lowest
common denominator...or it could be because it just doesn't matter
that much.

Peter Geoghegan       http://www.2ndQuadrant.com/
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Training and Services

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