On Tue, May 02, 2017 at 02:40:55PM +0200, Andreas Karlsson wrote:
> On 05/02/2017 04:38 AM, Craig Ringer wrote:
> > On 1 May 2017 at 22:26, Andreas Karlsson <andr...@proxel.se> wrote:
> > > I am not sure I like decorators since this means adding an ad hoc query 
> > > hint
> > > directly into the SQL syntax which is something which I requires serious
> > > consideration.
> > 
> > And mangling the semantics of existing syntax doesn't?
> > 
> > That's what we do right now so we can pretend we don't have query
> > hints while still having query hints.
> I am in favor of removing the optimization fence from CTEs, and strongly
> prefer no fence being the default behavior since SQL is a declarative
> language and I think it is reasonable to assume that CTEs can be inlined.
> But the question is how to best remove the fence while taking into account
> that quite many use them as optimization fences today.
> I see some alternatives, none of them perfect.
> 1. Just remove the optimization fence and let people add OFFSET 0 to their
> queries if they want an optimization fence. This lets us keep pretending
> that we do not have query hints (and therefore do not have to formalize any
> syntax for them) while still allowing people to add optimization fences.


I get that people with gigantic PostgreSQL installations with
stringent performance requirements sometimes need to do odd things to
squeeze out the last few percentage points of performance.  As the
people (well, at least the people close to the ground) at these
organizations are fully aware, performance optimizations are extremely
volatile with respect to new versions of software, whether it's
PostgreSQL, Oracle, the Linux kernel, or what have you.  They expect
this, and they have processes in place to handle it.  If they don't,
it's pilot error.

We should not be penalizing all our other users to maintain the
fiction that people can treat performance optimizations as a "fire and
forget" matter.

> 2. Add a decorator for WITH (e.g. "WITH MATERIALIZED x (...") to add an
> explicit optimization fence. This will for the first time add official
> support for a query hint in the syntax which is a quite big precedent.

Yep.  It's one we should think very carefully before we introduce.

> 3. Add a new GUC which can enable and disable the optimization fence. This
> is a very clumsy tool, but maybe good enough for some users and some people
> here in this thread have complained about our similar GUCs.

Any GUC would be unable to distinguish one WITH clause from another.
The hammer would then be guaranteed to be too big for precisely the
cases where it's most needed.

> 4. Add some new more generic query hinting facility. This is a lot
> of work and something which would be very hard to get consensus for.

Just the design of the thing would be the work of months at a minimum,
assuming we got to some consensus at all.  Maybe it's worth doing.

David Fetter <david(at)fetter(dot)org> http://fetter.org/
Phone: +1 415 235 3778  AIM: dfetter666  Yahoo!: dfetter
Skype: davidfetter      XMPP: david(dot)fetter(at)gmail(dot)com

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