Andrew Dunstan <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> Tino Wildenhain wrote:
>> Andrew Dunstan schrieb:
>>> This does not need to be over-engineered, IMNSHO.
>> Well could you explain where it would appear over-engineered?

> Anything that imposes extra requirements on type creators seems undesirable.

> I'm not sure either that the UUID example is a very good one. This whole 
> problem arose because of performance problems handling large gobs of 
> data, not just anything that happens to be binary.

Well, we realize that bytea has got a performance problem, but are we so
sure that nothing else does?  I don't want to stick in a one-purpose
wart only to find later that we need a few more warts of the same kind.

An example of something else we ought to be considering is binary
transmission of float values.  The argument in favor of that is not
so much performance (although text-and-back conversion is hardly cheap)
as it is that the conversion is potentially lossy, since float8out
doesn't by default generate enough digits to ensure a unique

ISTM there are three reasons for considering non-text-based

1. Performance, as in the bytea case
2. Avoidance of information loss, as for float
3. Providing a natural/convenient mapping to the PL's internal data types,
   as we already do --- but incompletely --- for arrays and records

It's clear that the details of #3 have to vary across PLs, but I'd
like it not to vary capriciously.  For instance plperl currently has
special treatment for returning perl arrays as SQL arrays, but AFAICS
from the manual not for going in the other direction; plpython and
pltcl overlook arrays entirely, even though there are natural mappings
they could and should be using.

I don't know to what extent we should apply point #3 to situations other
than arrays and records, but now is the time to think about it.  An
example: working with the geometric types in a PL function is probably
going to be pretty painful for lack of simple access to the constituent
float values (not to mention the lossiness problem).

We should also be considering some non-core PLs such as PL/Ruby and
PL/R; they might provide additional examples to influence our thinking.

                        regards, tom lane

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