Robert Haas <> writes:
> On Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 7:52 AM, Fabien COELHO <> wrote:
>> If someone thinks that "gset" is a good idea for pgbench, which I don't, it
>> could be implemented. I think that an "into" feature, like PL/pgSQL & ECPG,
>> makes more sense for scripting.

> I agree: I like \into.

> But:

>> SELECT 1, 2 \; SELECT 3;
>> \into one two three

> I think that's pretty weird.

Yeah, that's seriously nasty action-at-a-distance in my view.  I'd be okay

SELECT 1, 2 \into one two
SELECT 3 \into three

but I do not think that a metacommand on a following line should
retroactively affect the execution of a prior command, much less commands
before the last one.  Even if this happens to be easy to do in pgbench's
existing over-contorted logic, it's tremendously confusing to the user;
and it might be much less easy if we try to refactor that logic.

And I'm with Pavel on this: it should work exactly like \gset.  Inventing
\into to do almost the same thing in a randomly different way exhibits a
bad case of NIH syndrome.  Sure, you can argue about how it's not quite
the same use-case and so you could micro-optimize by doing it differently,
but that's ignoring the cognitive load on users who have to remember two
different commands.  Claiming that plpgsql's SELECT INTO is a closer
analogy than psql's \gset is quite bogus, too: the environment is
different (client side vs server side, declared vs undeclared target
variables), and the syntax is different (backslash or not, commas or not,
just for starters).  I note also that we were talking a couple months ago
about trying to align psql and pgbench backslash commands more closely.
This would not be a good step in that direction.

                        regards, tom lane

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