On 2/5/2007 11:52 AM, Tom Lane wrote:
"Simon Riggs" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
Sounds like a good time to suggest making these values configurable,
within certain reasonable bounds to avoid bad behaviour.

Actually, given what we've just learned --- namely that choosing these
values at random is a bad idea --- I'd want to see a whole lot of
positive evidence before adding such a configuration knob.

Some of the evidence is TOAST itself. Every time you do not SET a column that has been toasted into external storage during an UPDATE, you win because the columns data isn't read during the scan for the row to update, it isn't read during heap_update(), it isn't actually updated at all (the toast reference is copied as is and the external value reused), and not a single byte of the external data is bloating WAL. If someone knows that 99% of their updates will not hit certain text columns in their tables, actually forcing them to be compressed no matter what and to be stored external if they exceed 100 bytes will be a win.

Of course, this is a bit different from Simon's approach. What I describe here is a per pg_attribute configuration to enforce a certain new toaster behavior. Since we already have something that gives the toaster a per column cluestick (like not to bother trying to compress), it might be much easier to implement then Simon's proposal. It would require that the toaster goes over the initial heap tuple for those specially configured columns even if the tuple is below the toast threshold, which suggests that a pg_class.relhasspecialtoastneeds could be useful. But I think as for fine tuning capabilities, a column insensitive maximum tuple size is insufficient anyway.


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