Joshua Yanovski <pythones...@gmail.com> writes:
>> But worse, what happens if a count(*)
>> is in progress? It might or might not have scanned this page already,
>> and there's no way to get the right answer in both cases. Counter
>> updates done by VACUUM would have a similar race-condition problem.
> I don't think the first part really matters. If the page was visible
> when COUNT(*) started and then got dirtied by some other transaction,
> any changes by the second transaction shouldn't alter the actual count
> in our transaction anyway, so whether we scan the page needlessly or
> not seems beside the point.
The question is not whether you scan a page "needlessly" or not, it's
whether you double-count the tuples on it. I don't think it's possible to
be sure that when you add the central counter value into your local sum,
you are neither double-counting nor omitting pages whose all-visible state
changed while you were scanning the table.
regards, tom lane
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