On 2014-07-04 11:59:23 +0200, Fabien COELHO wrote:
> >Yea. I certainly disagree with the patch in it's current state because it
> >copies the same 15 lines several times with a two word difference.
> >Independent of whether we want those options, I don't think that's going
> >to fly.
> I liked a simple static string for the different variants, which means
> replication. Factorizing out the (large) common part will mean malloc &
> sprintf. Well, why not.

It sucks from a maintenance POV. And I don't see the overhead of malloc
being relevant here...

> >>OTOH, we've almost reached the consensus that supporting gaussian
> >>and exponential options in \setrandom. So I think that you should
> >>separate those two features into two patches, and we should apply
> >>the \setrandom one first. Then we can discuss whether the other patch
> >>should be applied or not.
> >Sounds like a good plan.
> Sigh. I'll do that as it seems to be a blocker...

I think we also need documentation about the actual mathematical
behaviour of the randomness generators.

> +     <para>
> +      With the gaussian option, the larger the <replaceable>threshold</>,
> +      the more frequently values close to the middle of the interval are 
> drawn,
> +      and the less frequently values close to the <replaceable>min</> and
> +      <replaceable>max</> bounds.
> +      In other worlds, the larger the <replaceable>threshold</>,
> +      the narrower the access range around the middle.
> +      the smaller the threshold, the smoother the access pattern
> +      distribution. The minimum threshold is 2.0 for performance.
> +     </para>

The only way to actually understand the distribution here is to create a
table, insert random values, and then look at the result. That's not a
good thing.

> The caveat that I have is that without these options there is:
> (1) no return about the actual distributions in the final summary, which
> depend on the threshold value, and
> (2) no included mean to test the feature, so the first patch is less
> meaningful if the feature cannot be used simply and require a custom script.

I personally agree that we likely want that as an additional
feature. Even if just because it makes the results easier to compare.


Andres Freund

 Andres Freund                     http://www.2ndQuadrant.com/
 PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Training & Services

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