Wilhansen Li wrote:
Basically, better support for binary formats which includes, but not limited
1) functions for converting to and from various datatypes
2) reducing the need to convert to and from network byte order
3) better documentation

My suggestion on using ASN.1 was merely a naive suggestion on how in can be
implemented properly without breaking (future) compatibility because that
seems to be the main problem which prevents the use of binary formats.

Well, it sounds to me like this is two separate items: (1+2), (3).

For (3) there is the pgsql-docs mailing list. If you have additions/changes, that's the place you want. Submissions in text are fine, you don't need to worry about SGML formatting, but do discuss them first. The documentation relies on people saying "I don't think this bit is clear", so help is always welcome.

For (1+2) it sounds like what you actually want is a "native binary for my application" protocol rather than "internal binary format" which is sort of what's available now. Clearly "application binary" is an addition rather than a replacement (unless everyone using binary transfers thinks it's so much better they're happy to switch immediately).

A few obvious questions leap out at me:
1. What languages are you seeking to target: just "C"?
2. What platforms are you seeking to target: intel 32 bit? 64 bit? powerpc? arm? 3. How much do I gain (and lose) over text transfer, and under what circumstances? 4. What will happen with custom/user-defined types? Will they need their own "adaptor" written to support this?

Crucially, I think you want to demonstrate #3 - that there's a clear gain for all the work that's involved in defining a separate transfer encoding. If you can demonstrate the gains are felt by all the Perl/PHP/Java applications too that'd obviously help.

Bear in mind I'm just another user of PostgreSQL, not a developer, so you could do everything I've said and still not interest core in making changes. However, I've seen a lot of changes come and go and I think you'll need to make progress on those 4 points to get anywhere.

  Richard Huxton
  Archonet Ltd

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