Gregory Stark wrote:
"Tom Lane" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
For example it'd be easy to implement the previously-discussed design
involving storing uncompressed length words in network byte order:
SET_VARLENA_LEN does htonl() and VARSIZE does ntohl() and nothing else in
the per-datatype functions needs to change. Another idea that we were
kicking around is to make an explicit distinction between little-endian and
big-endian hardware: on big-endian hardware, store the two TOAST flag bits
in the MSBs as now, but on little-endian, store them in the LSBs, shifting
the length value up two bits. This would probably be marginally faster than
htonl/ntohl depending on hardware and compiler intelligence, but either way
you get to guarantee that the flag bits are in the physically first byte,
which is the critical thing needed to be able to tell the difference between
compressed and uncompressed length values.


Actually I think neither htonl nor bitshifting the entire 4-byte word is going
to really work here. Both will require 4-byte alignment. Instead I think we
have to access the length byte by byte as a (char*) and do arithmetic. Since
it's the pointer being passed to VARSIZE that isn't too hard, but it might
perform poorly.

We would still require all datums with a 4-byte header to be 4-byte aligned, right? When reading, you would first check if it's a compressed or uncompressed header. If compressed, read the 1 byte header, if uncompressed, read the 4-byte header and do htonl or bitshifting. No need to do htonl or bitshifting on unaligned datums.

The important point here is that VARSIZE() still works, so only code that
creates a new varlena value need be affected, not code that examines one.

So what would VARSIZE() return, the size of the payload plus VARHDRSZ
regardless of what actual size the header was? That seems like it would break
the least existing code though removing all the VARHDRSZ offsets seems like it
would be cleaner.

My vote would be to change every caller. Though there's a lot of callers, it's a very simple change.

To make it posible to compile an external module against 8.2 and 8.3, you could have a simple ifdef block to map the new macro to old behavior. Or we could backport the macro definitions as Magnus suggested.

--
  Heikki Linnakangas
  EnterpriseDB   http://www.enterprisedb.com

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