Heikki Linnakangas wrote:
>> But sometimes, like now, PG puts me in an impossible position. You are
>> essentially telling me "you will get the numbers in an unknown format,
>> you will not have any way of knowing whether you got them in a strange
>> format or not, nor will you have any docs on what that format is going
>> to be". That is no way to treat your driver developers.
> You seem to be ignoring the fact that the text format is
> platform-independent. That's what for example JDBC uses, and I'd
> imagine other interfaces as well. Is it not possible to use text
> format in OLE DB, for floating points?
It is impossible to use text format for just floating point. I often
don't know in advance what type the result is going to be.

I can switch EVERYTHING to text mode, but as the other end of the
interface requires me to get things out in binary format, I get the
following absurd path:
PG stores in binary
PG translates to text
PG sends to driver
driver translates to binary

As long as I get consistent binary format, I prefer to translate between
binary formats than between text and binary.
>> What are the "send" functions used for, beside server to client
>> communication, anyways? You are asking me to treat the binary data as an
>> opaque. Well, I'll counter with a question - what good is that to me?
> Imagine an application that does this:
> Issue query "SELECT foofloat FROM footable", and store the value to a
> variable
> Issue "INSERT INTO footable2 VALUES (?)", and send back the same value.
Why would I want to do that over "insert into footable2 select foofloat
from footable"?

I know, even if it makes no sense you'd want it to work. All I'm saying
is that something has got to give, and there is no reason to assume that
your usage is more likely than mine.

For that reason, without looking into the ARM float implementation, it
is just as likely that it contains LESS precision than the IEEE one.
Would that change the objection?
> Don't you think footable and footable2 should now have the same value?
> If "SELECT * FROM footable, footable2 WHERE foofloat=foofloat" returns
> 0 rows, I'd be pissed.
> It's possible that the conversion within the driver loses some
> precision, depending on the data types supported by the language and
> platform, but the wire protocol should at least give the driver a
> chance to get it right.
I'm not sure why there is a difference here. How is that above example
different than the exact same example written in ADODB (and thus passing
driver conversion)?

I'll take this one step further. Does the text representation never lose
precision? Ever?

What if I send a patch that sends a 64bit float as 128bit number,
containing two integers, one for mantissa and one for exponent. This
format is guaranteed to never lose precision, but is wire compatible
across platforms. Would that be considered a good solution?
> The current code is not used for communicating between two servers.
> And it works fine as long as the client and the server are on the same
> platform.
So does the driver. And yet, a user complained! In my dictionary, this
means that "as long as the client and server are on the same platform"
is not a good enough requirement.
> Don't get me wrong, I agree that the binary format is broken as it is,
> but the cure mustn't be worse than the disease.
>> Please, give your own interface designers something to work with. Your
>> attitude essentially leaves me out in the cold.
> Design a wire protocol that
> 1. Doesn't lose information on any platform
> 2. Is more efficient than text format
> and I'm pretty sure it'll be accepted.
I just offered one. I would hate it myself, and it would mean that pre
8.3 (or whenever it is that it will go in) will have a different
representation than post the change, but it will live up to your requests.


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