On 12/14/2015 07:28 PM, Jim Nasby wrote:
On 12/14/15 12:50 AM, Craig Ringer wrote:
The issue with per-Datum is that TOAST claims two bits of a varlena
header, which already limits us to 1 GiB varlena values, something
people are starting to find to be a problem. There's no wiggle room to
steal more bits. If you want pluggable compression you need a way to
store knowledge of how a given datum is compressed with the datum or
have a fast, efficient way to check.

... unless we allowed for 8 byte varlena headers. Compression changes
themselves certainly don't warrant that, but if people are already
unhappy with 1GB TOAST then maybe that's enough.

The other thing this might buy us are a few bits that could be used to
support Datum versioning for other purposes, such as when the binary
format of something changes. I would think that at some point we'll need
that for pg_upgrade.

While versioning or increasing the 1GB limit are interesting, they have nothing to do with this particular patch. (BTW I don't see how the versioning would work at varlena level - that's something that needs to be handled at data type level).

I think the only question we need to ask here is whether we want to allow mixed compression for a column. If no, we're OK with the current header. This is what the patch does, as it requires a rewrite after changing the compression method.

And we're not painting ourselves in the corner - if we decide to increase the varlena header size in the future, this patch does not make it any more complicated.


Tomas Vondra                  http://www.2ndQuadrant.com
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Remote DBA, Training & Services

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