Andrew Dunstan <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> From my WIP patch, here's where the difference appears to be - note 
> that UTF8 branch has two NextByte calls at the bottom, unlike the other 
> branch:

Oh, I see: NextChar is still "real" but the patch is willing to have t
and p pointing into the middle of an MB character.  That's a bit
risky.  I think it works but it's making at least the following
undocumented assumptions:

* At a pattern backslash, it applies CHAREQ() but then advances
byte-by-byte over the matched characters (implicitly assuming that none
of these bytes will look like the magic characters).  While that works
for backend-safe encodings, it seems a bit strange; you've already paid
the price of determining the character length once, not to mention
matching the bytes of the characters once, and then throw that knowledge
away.  I think BYTEEQ would make more sense in the backslash path.

* At pattern % or _, it's critical that we do NextChar not NextByte
on the data side.  Else t is pointing into the middle of an MB sequence
when p isn't, and we have various out-of-sync conditions to worry about,
notably possibly calling NextChar when t is not pointing at the first
byte of the character, which will result in a wrong answer about the
character length.

* We *must* do NextChar not NextByte for _ since we have to match it to
exactly one logical character, not byte.  You could imagine trying to do
% a byte at a time (and indeed that's what I'd been thinking it did)
but that gets you out of sync which breaks the _ case.

So the actual optimization here is that we do bytewise comparison and
advancing, but only when we are either at the start of a character
(on both sides, and the pattern char is not wildcard) or we are in the
middle of a character (on both sides) and we've already proven that both
sides matched for the previous byte(s) of the character.

On the strength of this closer reading, I would say that the patch isn't
relying on UTF8's first-byte-vs-not-first-byte property after all.
All that it's relying on is that no MB character is a prefix of another
one, which seems like a necessary property for any sane encoding; plus
that characters are considered equal only if they're bytewise equal.
So are we sure it doesn't work for non-UTF8 encodings?  Maybe that
earlier conclusion was based on a misunderstanding of what the patch
really does.

                        regards, tom lane

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