On Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 10:57 PM, Peter Geoghegan <p...@heroku.com> wrote:
> There isn't much point in that, because those buffers are never
> physically allocated in the first place when there are thousands. They
> are, however, entered into the tuplesort.c accounting as if they were,
> denying tuplesort.c the full benefit of available workMem. It doesn't
> matter if you USEMEM() or FREEMEM() after we first spill to disk, but
> before we begin the merge. (We already refund the
> unused-but-logically-allocated memory from unusued at the beginning of
> the merge (within beginmerge()), so we can't do any better than we
> already are from that point on -- that makes the batch memtuples
> growth thing slightly more effective.)

The big picture here is that you can't only USEMEM() for tapes as the
need arises for new tapes as new runs are created. You'll just run a
massive availMem deficit, that you have no way of paying back, because
you can't "liquidate assets to pay off your creditors" (e.g., release
a bit of the memtuples memory). The fact is that memtuples growth
doesn't work that way. The memtuples array never shrinks.

Peter Geoghegan

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