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.

I don't see how adding extra tags to queries is easier to implement than an ability to modify the system catalogs. Quite the opposite, really.

And, as I said, if you're going to push for a feature that will be obsolesced in one version, then you're going to have a really rocky row to hoe.

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.

Even I, the chief marketing geek, am more concerned with getting a feature that we will still be proud of in 5 years than getting one in the next nine months. Keep your pants on!

I actually think the way to attack this issue is to discuss the kinds of errors the planner makes, and what tweaks we could do to correct them. Here's the ones I'm aware of:

-- Incorrect selectivity of WHERE clause
-- Incorrect selectivity of JOIN
-- Wrong estimate of rows returned from SRF
-- Incorrect cost estimate for index use

Can you think of any others?

I also feel that a tenet of the design of the "planner tweaks" system ought to be that the tweaks are collectible and analyzable in some form. This would allow DBAs to mail in their tweaks to -performance or -hackers, and then allow us to continue improving the planner.

--Josh Berkus

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