On Thu, Oct 12, 2006 at 11:42:32AM -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
> [ This is off-topic for -performance, please continue the thread in
> -hackers ]
> "Jim C. Nasby" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> > These hints would outright force the planner to do things a certain way.
> > ... FROM table /* ACCESS {SEQSCAN | [[NO] BITMAP] INDEX index_name} */
> This proposal seems to deliberately ignore every point that has been
> made *against* doing things that way.  It doesn't separate the hints
> from the queries, it doesn't focus on fixing the statistical or cost
> misestimates that are at the heart of the issue, and it takes no account
> of the problem of hints being obsoleted by system improvements.
Yes, but it does one key thing: allows DBAs to fix problems *NOW*. See
also my comment below.

> > It would also be useful to allow tweaking of planner cost estimates.
> > This would take the general form of
> > node operator value
> This is at least focusing on the right sort of thing, although I still
> find it completely misguided to be attaching hints like this to
> individual queries.
Yes, but as I mentioned the idea here was to come up with something that
is (hopefully) easy to define and implement. In other words, something
that should be doable for 8.3. Because this proposal essentially amounts
to limiting plans the planner will consider and tweaking it's cost
estimates, I'm hoping that it should be (relatively) easy to implement.

> What I would like to see is information *stored in a system catalog*
> that affects the planner's cost estimates.  As an example, the DBA might
> know that a particular table is touched sufficiently often that it's
> likely to remain RAM-resident, in which case reducing the page fetch
> cost estimates for just that table would make sense.  (BTW, this is
> something the planner could in principle know, but we're unlikely to
> do it anytime soon, for a number of reasons including a desire for plan
> stability.)

All this stuff is great and I would love to see it! But this is all so
abstract that I'm doubtful this could make it into 8.4, let alone 8.3.
Especially if we want a comprehensive system that will handle most/all
cases. I don't know if we even have a list of all the cases we need to

> The other general category of thing I think we need is a
> way to override selectivity estimates for particular forms of WHERE
> clauses.

I hadn't thought about that for hints, but it would be a good addition.
I think the stats-tweaking model would work, but we'd probably want to
allow "=" as well (which could go into the other stats tweaking hints as

... WHERE a = b /* SELECTIVITY {+|-|*|/|=} value */
Jim Nasby                                            [EMAIL PROTECTED]
EnterpriseDB      http://enterprisedb.com      512.569.9461 (cell)

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