On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 3:11 PM, Tom Lane <t...@sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:
> Robert Haas <robertmh...@gmail.com> writes:
>> I don't understand why you think this would create non-trivial
>> portability issues.
> The patch as submitted breaks entirely on platforms without pread/pwrite.
> Yes, we can add a configure test and some shim functions to fix that,
> but the argument that it makes the code shorter will get a lot weaker
> once we do.
> I agree that adding such functions is pretty trivial, but there are
> reasons to think there are other hazards that are less trivial:
> First, a self-contained shim function will necessarily do an lseek every
> time, which means performance will get *worse* not better on non-pread
> platforms. And yes, the existing logic to avoid lseeks fires often enough
> to be worthwhile, particularly in seqscans.
> Second, I wonder whether this will break any kernel's readahead detection.
> I wouldn't be too surprised if successive reads (not preads) without
> intervening lseeks are needed to trigger readahead on at least some
> platforms. So there's a potential, both on platforms with pread and those
> without, for this to completely destroy seqscan performance, with
> penalties very far exceeding what we might save by avoiding some kernel
> I'd be more excited about this if the claimed improvement were more than
> 1.5%, but you know as well as I do that that's barely above the noise
> floor for most performance measurements. I'm left wondering why bother,
> and why take any risk of de-optimizing on some platforms.
Well, I think you're pointing out some things that need to be figured
out, but I hardly think that's a good enough reason to pour cold water
on the whole approach. The number of lseeks we issue on many
workloads is absolutely appalling, and I don't think there's any
reason at all to assume that a 1.5% gain is as good as it gets. Even
if it is, a 1% speedup on a benchmark where the noise is 5-10% is just
as much of a speedup as a 1% speedup on a benchmark on a benchmark
where the noise is 0.1%. Faster is faster, and 1% improvements are
not so numerous that we can afford to ignore them when they pop up.
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