On Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 5:45 PM, Alvaro Herrera <alvhe...@2ndquadrant.com> wrote:
> I don't think a patch must necessarily consider all possible uses that
> the new feature may have.  If we introduce parallel index creation,
> that's great; if pg_restore doesn't start using it right away, that's
> okay.  You, or somebody else, can still patch it later.  The patch is
> still a step forward.

While I agree, right now pg_restore will tend to use or not use
parallelism for CREATE INDEX more or less by accident, based on
whether or not pg_class.reltuples has already been set by something
else (e.g., an earlier CREATE INDEX against the same table in the
restoration). That seems unacceptable. I haven't just suppressed the
use of parallel CREATE INDEX within pg_restore because that would be
taking a position on something I have a hard time defending any
particular position on. And so, I am slightly concerned about the
entire ecosystem of tools that could implicitly use parallel CREATE
INDEX, with undesirable consequences. Especially pg_restore.

It's not so much a hard question as it is an awkward one. I want to
handle any possible objection about there being future compatibility
issues with going one way or the other ("This paints us into a corner
with..."). And, there is no existing, simple way for pg_restore and
other tools to disable the use of parallelism due to the cost model
automatically kicking in, while still allowing the proposed new index
storage parameter ("parallel_workers") to force the use of
parallelism, which seems like something that should happen. (I might
have to add a new GUC like "enable_maintenance_paralleism", since
"max_parallel_workers_maintenance = 0" disables parallelism no matter
how it might be invoked).

In general, I have a positive outlook on this patch, since it appears
to compete well with similar implementations in other systems
scalability-wise. It does what it's supposed to do.

Peter Geoghegan

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