On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 2:26 PM, Tom Lane <t...@sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:
> Robert Haas <robertmh...@gmail.com> writes:
>> On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 2:16 PM, Tom Lane <t...@sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:
>>> Presumably the hope would be that VACUUM would truncate off some of the
>>> heap, else there's not much good that's going to happen.  That leaves
>>> me wondering exactly what the invariant is for the maps, and if it's
>>> okay to not touch them during a heap truncation.
>> No, you're missing the point, or at least I think you are.  Suppose
>> somebody creates a big table and then deletes all the tuples in the
>> second half, but VACUUM never runs.  When at last VACUUM does run on
>> that table, it will try to build the VM and FSM forks as it scans the
>> table, and will only truncate AFTER that has been done.  If building
>> the VM and FSM forks fails because there is no freespace, we will
>> never reach the part of the operation that could create some.
> No, I follow that perfectly.  I think you missed *my* point, which is:
> suppose that we do have a full-length VM and/or FSM fork for a relation,
> and VACUUM decides to truncate the relation.  Is it okay to not truncate
> the VM/FSM?  If it isn't, we're going to have to have very tricky
> semantics for any "don't touch the map forks" option, because it will
> have to suppress only some of VACUUM's map updates.

Oh, I see.  I think it's probably not a good idea to skip truncating
those maps, but perhaps the option could be defined as making no new
entries, rather than ignoring them altogether, so that they never
grow.  It seems that both of those are defined in such a way that if
page Y follows page X in the heap, the entries for page Y in the
relation fork will follow the one for page X.  So truncating them
should be OK; it's just growing them that we need to avoid.

> An alternative approach that might avoid such worries is to have a mode
> wherein VACUUM always truncates the map forks to nothing, rather than
> attempting to update them.

That could work, too, but might be stronger medicine than needed.

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

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