On Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 5:40 AM, Colin 't Hart <co...@sharpheart.org> wrote:
> Here's a new version of a small patch to psql I'm using locally.
> It adds a command \ns to psql which is a shortcut to set the
> SEARCH_PATH variable.
> I've also added tab completion making this command much more useful. I
> don't think tab completition would be possible if this command was
> defined as a variable (which was another suggestion offered at the
> time).

It's possible that the tab completion argument is a sufficient reason
for including this, but I'm kinda skeptical.  The amount of typing
saved is pretty minimal, considering that set sea<tab> completes to
set search_path.  Assuming we had proper tab completion for set
search_path = (and off-hand, it doesn't look like that does anything
useful), this would be saving 5 keystrokes every time you want to
change the search path (set sea<tab> is eight keystrokes, where
\ns<space> is four... but it also saves you the semicolon at the end).
 I'm sure some people would find that worthwhile, but personally, I
don't.  Short commands are cryptic, and IMHO psql is already an
impenetrable thicket of difficult-to-remember abbreviations.  I've
been using it for more than 10 years now and I still have to to run \?
on a semi-regular basis.  I think that if we start adding things like
this, that help message is going to rapidly fill up with a whole lot
more abbreviations for things that are quite a bit incrementally less
useful than what's there right now.

After all, if we're going to have \ns to set the search path, why not
have something similar for work_mem, or random_page_cost?  I set both
of those variables more often than I set search_path; and there could
easily be someone else out there whose favorite GUC is client_encoding
or whatever.  And, for that matter, why stop with GUCs?  \ct for
CREATE TABLE would save lots of typing, too....

Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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