Thank you everyone for great comments!
> have a permanent pg_class which holds the records for permanent tables
> and an *unlogged* table, say pg_class_unlogged, which holds records
> for temporary tables. Now everybody can see everybody else's data,
> yet we don't have to create permanent catalog entries. So we are not
> dead. All of the temporary catalog tables vanish on a crash, too, and
> in a very clean way, which is great.
> Overall I feel like the development effort that it would take to make
> this work would almost certainly be better-expended elsewhere.
Agree. This is an interesting idea but considering named drawbacks,
> 2. You can't write to unlogged tables on standby servers, so this
> doesn't help solve the problem of wanting to use temporary tables on
... I don't think it's worth an effort.
>> when you use global temporary tables, then you create it only once -
>> like usual tables.
>> you don't drop these tables.
> I share the view that this is a better/simpler solution to the problem.
> It will still require virtual (in-memory) tuples for pg_statistic
> records, but everything else works pretty much as for regular tables. In
> particular there are no problems with dependencies.
> The obvious disadvantage is that it requires changes to applications.
Frankly I have much more faith in Tom's idea of using virtual part of the
catalog for all temporary tables, i.e turning all temporary tables into
"fast" temporary tables. Instead of introducing a new type of temporary tables
that solve catalog bloating problem and forcing users to rewrite applications
why not just not to create a problem in a first place?
> I think one way to fix that would be to store the virtual tuples in
> shared memory (instead of process memory). That will certainly require
> locking and synchronization, but well - it needs to be shared.
I believe currently this is the most promising course of action. In first
implementation we could just place all virtual part of the catalog in a shared
memory and protect it with a single lock. If it will work as expected the next
step would be elimination of bottlenecks --- using multiple locks, moving part
of a virtual catalog to local backend's memory, etc.
As always, please don't hesitate to share any thoughts on this topic!
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