On Sat, Sep 12, 2015 at 11:50 AM, Tomas Vondra <tomas.von...@2ndquadrant.com
> wrote:

> Hi,
> I did a quick initial review of this patch today, so here are my comments
> so far:

Hi Tomas,

First of all, thanks for the review!

- ipcs.c should include utils/cmdstatus.h (the compiler complains
>   about implicit declaration of two functions)

Correct, though the file name is ipci.c.

- Attempts to get plan for simple insert queries like this
>   end with a segfault, because ActivePortal->queryDesc is 0x0 for this
>   query. Needs investigation.

Yes, I've hit the same problem after submitting the latest version of the
patch.  For now I've just added a check for queryDesc being not NULL, but I
guess the top of the current_query_stack might contains something useful.
Something I need to try.

- The lockless approach seems fine to me, although I think the fear
>   of performance issues is a bit moot (I don't think we expect large
>   number of processes calling pg_cmdstatus at the same time). But
>   it's not significantly more complex, so why not.

I believe the main benefit of the less-locking approach is that if
something goes wrong when two backends tried to communicate it doesn't
prevent the rest of them from operating, because there is no shared (and
thus locked) communication channel.

- The patch contains pretty much no documentation, both comments
>   at the code level and user docs. The lack of user docs is not that
>   a big deal at this point (although the patch seems to be mature
>   enough, although the user-level API will likely change).
>   The lack of code comments is more serious, as it makes the review
>   somewhat more difficult. For example it'd be very nice to document
>   the contract for the lock-less interface.

I will add the code comments.  The user docs could wait before we decide on
the interface, I think.

- I agree that pg_cmdstatus() is not the best API. Having something
>   like EXPLAIN PID would be nice, but it does not really work for
>   all the request types (just CMD_STATUS_REQUEST_EXPLAIN). Maybe
>   there's not a single API for all cases, i.e. we should use EXPLAIN
>   PID for one case and invent something different for the other?

I can think of something like:

EXPLAIN [ ( option [, ...] ) ] PROCESS <PID>;

where option is extended with:


in addition to the usual ANALYZE, VERBOSE, FORMAT, etc.

- Is there a particular reason why we allocate slots for auxiliary
>   processes and not just for backends (NumBackends)? Do we expect those
>   auxiliary processes to ever use this API?

If we extend the interface to a more general one, there still might be some
space for querying status of checkpointer of bgwriter.

- CleanupCmdStatusSlot seems needlessly complicated. I don't quite see
>   the need for the second argument, or the internal slot variable. Why
>   not to simply use the MyCmdStatusSlot directly?

Good point.

- I also don't quite understand why we need to track css_pid for the
>   slot? In what scenario will this actually matter?

I think it's being only used for error reporting and could help in
debugging, but for now that's it.

- While being able to get EXPLAIN from the running process is nice,
>   I'm especially interested in getting EXPLAIN ANALYZE to get insight
>   into the progress of the execution. The are other ways to get the
>   EXPLAIN, e.g. by opening a different connection and actually running
>   it (sure, the plan might have changed since then), but currently
>   there's no way to get insight into the progress.
>   From the thread I get the impression that Oleksandr also finds this
>   useful - correct? What are the plans in this direction?
>   ISTM we need at least two things for that to work:
>   (a) Ability to enable instrumentation on all queries (effectively
>       what auto_explain allows), otherwise we can't get EXPLAIN ANALYZE
>       on the queries later. But auto_explain is an extension, so that
>       does not seem as a good match if this is supposed to be in core.
>       In that case a separate GUC seems appropriate.
>   (b) Being able to run the InstrEnd* methods repeatedly - the initial
>       message in this thread mentions issues with InstrEndLoop for
>       example. So perhaps this is non-trivial.

I was able to make this work with a simple change to InstrEndLoop and the
callers.  Basically, adding a bool parameter in_explain and passing an
appropriate value.  I guess that's not the best approach, but it appears to

Adding a GUC to enable instrumentation sounds reasonable.

Do you believe it makes sense to add instrumentation support in this same
patch or better focus on making the simplest thing work first?

- And finally, I think we should really support all existing EXPLAIN
>   formats, not just text. We need to support the other formats (yaml,
>   json, xml) if we want to use the EXPLAIN PID approach, and it also
>   makes the plans easier to process by additional tools.

Sure, that was in my plans (and see above for possible syntax).  What would
be really neat is retrieving the complete backtrace.  Not sure what the
good interface would look like, but using JSON format for the output sounds


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