Magnus Hagander wrote:

> Just to open a whole new can of worms ;-)
> I read an article a couple of days ago about the "machine readable showplan
> output" in SQL Server 2005 (basically, it's EXPLAIN output but in XML
> format). It does make a lot of sense if yourp rimary interface is !=
> commandline (psql), such as pgadmin or phppgadmin. The idea being that you
> can stick in *all* the details you want, since you can't possibly clutter
> up the display. And you stick them in a well-defined XML format (or another
> format if you happen to hate XML) where the client-side program can easily
> parse out whatever it needs. It's also future-proof - if you add a new
> field somewhere, the client program parser won't break.
> Something worth doing? Not to replace the current explain output, but as a
> second option (EXPLAIN XML whatever)?

FYI a patch was posted for this some time ago, because a friend of mine
wanted to help a student to write an EXPLAIN parsing tool.

Alvaro Herrera       
"Having your biases confirmed independently is how scientific progress is
made, and hence made our great society what it is today" (Mary Gardiner)

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TIP 9: In versions below 8.0, the planner will ignore your desire to
       choose an index scan if your joining column's datatypes do not

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