Bruce Momjian <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> No one has mentioned that we page value on disk to match the CPU
> alignment.  This is done for efficiency, but is not strictly required.

Well, it is unless you are willing to give up support of non-Intel CPUs;
most other popular chips are strict about alignment, and will fail an
attempt to do a nonaligned fetch.

The only way we could pack stuff without alignment is to go over to the
idea that memory and disk representations are different --- where in
this case the "conversion" might just be a memcpy to a known-aligned
location.  The performance costs of that seem pretty daunting, however,
especially when you reflect that simply stepping over a varlena field
would require memcpy'ing its length word to someplace.

                        regards, tom lane

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