Craig Ringer <> writes:
> On 31 August 2016 at 22:01, Tom Lane <> wrote:
>> Personally, my big beef with the current approach to sequences is that
>> we eat a whole relation (including a whole relfilenode) per sequence.
>> I wish that we could reduce a sequence to just a single row in a
>> catalog, including the nontransactional state.

> It sounds like you're thinking of something like a normal(ish) heap
> tuple where we just overwrite some fields in-place without fiddling
> xmin/xmax and making a new row version. Right? Like we currently
> overwrite the lone Form_pg_sequence  on the 1-page sequence relations.

That would be what to do with the nontransactional state.  If I recall
previous discussions correctly, there's a stumbling block if you want
to treat ALTER SEQUENCE changes as transactional --- but maybe that
doesn't make sense anyway.  If we did want to try that, maybe we need
two auxiliary catalogs, one for the transactionally-updatable sequence
fields and one for the nontransactional fields.

> It feels intuitively pretty gross to effectively dirty-read and write
> a few fields of a tuple. But that's what we do all the time with
> xmin/xmax etc, it's not really that different.

True.  I think two rows would work around that, but maybe we don't
have to.

Another issue is what is the low-level interlock between nextvals
in different processes.  Right now it's the buffer lock on the
sequence's page.  With a scheme like this, if we just kept doing
that, we'd have a single lock covering probably O(100) different
sequences which might lead to contention problems.  We could probably
improve on that with some thought.

                        regards, tom lane

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