On 19 June 2012 17:45, Kevin Grittner <kevin.gritt...@wicourts.gov> wrote:
> Peter Geoghegan <pe...@2ndquadrant.com> wrote:
>> Are you sure that they actually have a tie-breaker, and don't just
>> make the distinction between equality and equivalence (if only
>> internally)?
> I'm pretty sure that when I was using Sybase ASE the order for
> non-equal values was always predictable, and it behaved in the
> manner I describe below.  I'm less sure about any other product.

Maybe it used a physical row identifier as a tie-breaker? Note that we
use ItemPointers as a tie-breaker for sorting index tuples.

I imagine that it was at least predictable among columns being sorted,
if only because en_US.UTF-8 doesn't have any notion of equivalence
(that is, it just so happens that there are no two strings that are
equivalent but not bitwise equal). It would surely be impractical to
do a comparison for the entire row, as that could be really expensive.

>> I don't see why you'd want a tie-breaker across multiple keys. I
>> mean, you could, I just don't see any reason to.
> So that you can have entirely repeatable results across multiple
> runs?

I suppose that isn't an unreasonable use-case, but it would be
unreasonable to require that everyone pay for it if, particularly if
it implied another strcmp(). You don't need me to tell you that we
generally discourage the idea that the order that tuples are returned
in is defined in any way beyond that asked for by the user.

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

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