On Wed, 2003-06-25 at 13:49, Tom Lane wrote:
> There are a number of things that need to be done in psql before feature
> freeze.  Any comments on the following points?
> * We need a client-side autocommit-off implementation to substitute for
> the one removed from the server.  I am inclined to create a new psql
> backslash command:
>       \autocommit on          traditional handling of transactions
>       \autocommit off         force BEGIN before any user command
>                               that's not already in a transaction
>       \autocommit             with no arg, show current state
> An alternative to creating a new command is to define a special variable
> in psql, whereupon the above three would instead be rendered
>       \set AUTOCOMMIT on
>       \set AUTOCOMMIT off
>       \echo :AUTOCOMMIT
> The first choice seems less verbose to me, but if anyone wants to make a
> case for the second, I'm open to it.  Note that either of these could be
> put in ~/.psqlrc if someone wants autocommit off as their default.

A case for the latter is that it's very similar to environment
variables, a well known system.

The main advantage I see -- other than the shell similarities -- is the
ability to call set with no arguments and get a listing of all the
options. This is currently much shorter than the already overburdened \?
screen and would concentrate all psql preference settings in one

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