Martijn van Oosterhout <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> On Sun, May 06, 2007 at 08:48:28PM -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
>> What we've basically got here is a complaint that the default
>> textual-representation-based method for transmitting PL function
>> parameters and results is awkward and inefficient for bytea.

> I must say I was indeed surprised by the idea that bytea is passed by
> text, since Perl handles embedded nulls in strings without any problem
> at all. Does this mean integers are passed as text also?

Pretty much everything is passed as text.  This is a historical
accident, in part: our first PL with an external interpreter was pltcl,
and Tcl of the day had no other variable type besides "text string".
(They've gotten smarter since then, but from a user's-eye point of view
it's still true that every value in Tcl is a string.)  So it was natural
to decree that the value transmission protocol was just to convert to
text and back with the SQL datatype I/O functions.  Later PLs copied
that decision without thinking hard about it.  We've wedged a few bits
of custom transmission protocol into plperl for arrays and records, but
it's been pretty ad-hoc each time.  Seems it's time to take a step back
and question the assumptions.

                        regards, tom lane

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