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On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 1:29 PM, Stephen Frost <sfr...@snowman.net> wrote:
> Jeff
> (Reviving an old thread for 2014...)
> Would you have time to work on this for 9.7..?  I came across a
> real-world use case for exactly this capability and was sorely
> disappointed to discover we didn't support it even though there had been
> discussion for years on it, which quite a few interested parties.
> I'll take a look at reviewing your last version of the patch but wanted
> to get an idea of if you still had interest and might be able to help.
> Thanks!
> Stephen

There are actually quite a few issues remaining here.

First, I think the syntax is still implemented in a bad way. Right now
it's part of the OVER clause, and the IGNORE NULLS gets put into the
frame options. It doesn't match the way the spec defines the grammar,
and I don't see how it really makes sense that it's a part of the
frame options or the window object at all. I believe that it should be
a part of the FuncCall, and end up in the FuncExpr, so the flag can be
read when the function is called without exposing frame options (which
we don't want to do). I think the reason it was done as a part of the
window object is so that it could save state between calls for the
purpose of optimization, but I think that can be done using fn_extra.
This change should remove a lot of the complexity about trying to
share window definitions, etc.

Second, we need a way to tell which functions support IGNORE NULLS and
which do not. The grammar as implemented in the patch seems to allow
it for any function with an OVER clause (which can include ordinary
aggregates). Then the parse analysis hard-codes that only LEAD and LAG
accept IGNORE NULLS, and throws an error otherwise. Neither of these
things seem right. I think we need a need catalog support to say
whether a function honors IGNORE|RESPECT NULLS or not, which means we
also need support in CREATE FUNCTION.

I think the execution is pretty good, except that (a) we need to keep
the state in fn_extra rather than the winstate; and (b) we should get
rid of the bitmaps and just do a naive scan unless we really think
non-constant offsets will be important. We can always optimize more

     Jeff Davis

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