On Sun, May 8, 2016 at 10:56 AM, Robert Haas <robertmh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, May 7, 2016 at 11:42 PM, David G. Johnston
> <david.g.johns...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > All of the other planner GUCs are basically, {on, off, special} with on
> or
> > special the default as appropriate for the feature - since most/all
> features
> > default to enabled.  While I get that the expected usage is to set this
> to
> > off (which really leaves parallel mode in its default on behavior) and
> then
> > reduce the parallel workers to zero to disable that runs contrary to all
> of
> > the other switches listed alongside force_parallel_mode.
> > constraint_exclusion seems like something to be emulated here.
> I am not really sure what you are suggesting here.  If you're saying
> that you don't like the ordering regress > on > off, because there are
> other GUCs where the intermediate values are all between "on" and
> "off", then I think that's silly.  We should name and order the
> options based on what makes sense, not based on what made sense for
> other options.  Note that if you think there are no other GUCs which
> have a value greater than "on", see also
> synchronous_commit=remote_apply.

​I was thinking more along the lines that it should be called:

parallel_mode (enum)

It would default to "on"

"off" would turn it off (instead of having to set parallel_degree to 0)

And it would have additional enum values for:

"always" - basically what on means in the current setup
"regress" - the same as the current regress.​

> > Also, all of the other geoq options get placed here yet max parallel
> degree
> > is in an entirely different section.
> max_parallel_degree has nothing to do with GEQO, so I don't know that
> the location of "other" GEQO options has much to do with anything.  It
> also has nothing to do with force_parallel_mode, which is what this
> email was about until you abruptly switched topics.

​I was simply trying to indicate that the various settings that configure
geqo are present on this page.  max_parallel_degree is likewise a setting
that configures parallel_mode but it isn't on this page.​

> > I'm a bit torn on this point though
> > since it does fit nicely in asynchronous behavior.  I think the next
> thought
> > finds the happy middle.
> We could put max_parallel_degree under "other planner options" rather
> than "asynchronous behavior".  However, I wonder what behavior people
> will want for parallel operations that are not queries.  For example,
> suppose we have parallel CREATE INDEX.  Should the number of workers
> for that operation also be controlled by max_parallel_degree?  If yes,
> then this shouldn't be a query planner option, because CREATE INDEX is
> not a query.

​Like I said, it isn't clear-cut.  But at the moment it is just for queries
- it could be moved if it gets dual purposed as you describe.

> > If nothing else this option should include a link to max_parallel_degree
> and
> > vice-versa.  Noting how to disable the feature in this section, if the
> guc
> > semantics are not changed, would be good too.  That note would likely
> > suffice to establish the linking term to parallel degree.  Something can
> be
> > devised, even if just a see also, to link back.
> It's probably worth mentioning under force_parallel_mode that it will
> have no effect if parallel query is disabled by the
> max_parallel_degree setting.  But it is completely unnecessary IMHO
> for max_parallel_degree to link to force_parallel_mode.  Most people
> should not be using force_parallel_mode; it is there for testing
> whether functions are correctly labeled as to parallel safety and
> that's it.

So this particular capability is unique and as such it warrants offing a
"force" mode that none of the other planner configuration GUCs on this page
have.  Its clear that this is how it was intended but as a casual reader of
the section its uniqueness stood out - and maybe that is for the better.

I guess part of the misunderstanding is simply that you have a lot more
plans for this feature than are currently implemented but I am reading the
documentation only knowing about those parts that are.

David J.

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