On 2/21/07, Bruce Momjian <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
Keep in mind we have a patch in process to reduce the varlena length and
reduce alignment requirements, so once that is in, reordering columns
will not be as important.


Well, as I understand it, that patch isn't really addressing the same
problem.  Consider this table:
create table foo (a varchar(10), b int, c smallint, d int, e smallint, ....);

There are two problems here:

1) On my machine, each int/smallint column pair takes up 8 bytes.  2
of those 8 bytes are alignment padding wasted on the smallint field.
If we grouped all the smallint fields together within the tuple, that
space would not be lost.

2) Each time you access any of the int/smallint fields, you have to
peek inside the varchar field to figure out its length.  If we stored
the varchar field at the end of the tuple instead, the access times
for all the other fields would be measurably improved, by a factor
that greatly outweighs the small penalty imposed on the varchar field
itself.

My understanding is that the varlena headers patch would potentially
reduce the size of the varchar header (which is definitely worthwhile
by itself), but it wouldn't help much for either of these problems.
Or am I misunderstanding what that patch does?

phil

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