On 8/6/16 10:13 AM, Bruce Momjian wrote:
On Sat, Aug  6, 2016 at 04:04:41PM +0100, Andrew Gierth wrote:
"Bruce" == Bruce Momjian <br...@momjian.us> writes:

 Bruce> Would it be helpful to output an array of strings representing
 Bruce> the index definition?

 >> Why would that help, if the point is to enable programmatic access
 >> to information?

 Bruce> I was thinking an array of strings would avoid problems in
 Bruce> having to re-scan the output for tokens.

OK, but that still leaves the issue of how to interpret each string,

Yes, you still have to parse it, just not scan/tokenize it.

That's an improvement. For some scenarios maybe it's enough. But I also don't see what's wrong with having the ability to probe for specific capabilities. I've needed to do this for unit tests, and for some items it's a real bear.

Trigger definitions are an example. I've done this in the past in unit tests to ensure that a trigger was defined in a particular way. Some data is available directly in the catalog, but getting at other info would have required hard-coding knowledge of specific bit patterns into the query. Instead of doing that I elected to parse pg_get_triggerdef[1], but that's hardly satisfying either.

1: https://github.com/decibel/cat_tools/blob/master/sql/cat_tools.sql#L339
Jim Nasby, Data Architect, Blue Treble Consulting, Austin TX
Experts in Analytics, Data Architecture and PostgreSQL
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