> I'd support making psql 7.3 and forward be aware of the backend they 
> are connecting to, and support them being able to work against all 7.3+ 
> servers, but I still fail to see the pressing need for a backward-compatible 
> version when the correct one is always shipped with the server. 

The scenario where it's valuable involves multiple machines: if you
connect to another machine that is running an older Postgres, it'd be
nice not to have to have a matching psql installed locally.  For
example, consider someone who does development work (so has the latest
PG installed on his workstation) but also must admin a production box
with an older PG version installed there.  As things currently stand,
he has to keep an extra copy of psql on his workstation to use for
talking to the production server.

But, while I see the value in it, I'm not personally prepared to put in
the work needed to make it happen.

                        regards, tom lane

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