On Tue, May 24, 2016 at 4:56 PM, Andres Freund <and...@anarazel.de> wrote:

> The LSNs of the created index pages will be new, and we'll thus
> not necessarily error out when requried.

It is *old* LSNs that are *safe* -- *new* LSNs are what trigger the
"snapshot too old" error.  So your observation may be a reason that
there is not, in fact, any bug here.  That said, even if there is
no chance that using the index could generate incorrect results, it
may be worth looking at whether avoiding index use (as mentioned
below) might avoid false positives, and have enough value as an
optimization to add.  Of course, if that is the case, there is the
question of whether that is appropriate for 9.6 or material for the
first version 10 CF.

> At the very least we'd have to set indexInfo->ii_BrokenHotChain
> in that case.

If there is a bug, this is what I will look at first -- having
queries avoid the index if they are using an old snapshot, rather
than throwing an error.

> As far as I can see normal index builds will allow concurrent hot
> prunes and everything; since those only require page-level
> exclusive locks.
> So for !concurrent builds we might end up with a corrupt index.

... by which you mean an index that omits certainly-dead heap
tuples which have been the subject of early pruning or vacuum, even
if there are still registered snapshots that include those tuples?
Or do you see something else?

Again, since both the heap pages involved and all the new index
pages would have LSNs recent enough to trigger the old snapshot
check, I'm not sure where the problem is, but will review closely
to see what I might have missed.

> I think many of the places relying on heap scans with !mvcc
> snapshots are problematic in that way. Outdated reads will not be
> detected by TestForOldSnapshot() (given the (snapshot)->satisfies
> == HeapTupleSatisfiesMVCC condition therein), and rely on the
> snapshot to be actually working.  E.g. CLUSTER/ VACUUM FULL rely

Don't the "RECENTLY" values imply that the transaction is still
running which cause the tuple to be dead?  Since tuples are not
subject to early pruning or vacuum when that is the case, where do
you see a problem?  The snapshot itself has the usual xmin et al.,
so I'm not sure what you might mean by "the snapshot to be actually
working" if not the override at the time of pruning/vacuuming.

> If an old session with >= repeatable read accesses a clustered
> table (after the cluster committed), they'll now not see any
> errors, because all the LSNs look new.

Again, it is new LSNs that trigger errors; if the page has not been
written recently the LSN is old and there is no error.  I think you
may be seeing problems based on getting the basics of this

Kevin Grittner
EDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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