On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 10:41:07PM -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
> daveg <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> > Are we talking about the same patch?
> Maybe not --- I thought you were talking about a backend-side behavioral
> change.
> > Because I don't know what you are
> > refering to with "timer management code" and "scheduling the interrupt" in
> > the context of pg_dump.
> I'm not sure that I see a good argument for making pg_dump deliberately
> fail, if that's what you're proposing.  Maybe I'm just too old-school,
> but there simply is not any other higher priority for a database than
> safeguarding your data.

We agree about that. The intent of my patch it to give the user a chance to
take corrective action in a case where pg_dump cannot be relied on to succeed.

The problem is that pg_dump can get blocked behind locks and then fail hours
later when the locks are released because some table it had not locked yet
changed. In the worst case:

  - no backup,
  - no notice until too late to restart the backup,
  - lost production due to other processes waiting on locks pg_dump holds.

So the intent of the patch is to optionally allow pg_dump to fail quickly
if it cannot get all the access share locks it needs. This gives the user
an opportunity to notice and retry in a timely way.

Please see http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-patches/2008-05/msg00351.php
for the orginal patch and problem description.

A sample failure instance from a very heavy batch environment with a lot of
materialized views being maintained concurrently with pg_dump. DB size
is about 300 GB:

20080410 14:53:49 dumpdb c04_20080410_public: dumping c04 to 
pg_dump: SQL command failed
pg_dump: Error message from server: ERROR:  cache lookup failed for index 
pg_dump: The command was: SELECT t.tableoid, t.oid, t.relname as indexname, 
pg_catalog.pg_get_indexdef(i.indexrelid) as indexdef, t.relnatts as indnkeys, 
i.indkey, i.indisclustered, c.contype, c.conname, c.tableoid as contableoid, 
c.oid as conoid, (SELECT spcname FROM pg_catalog.pg_tablespace s WHERE s.oid = 
t.reltablespace) as tablespace, array_to_string(t.reloptions, ', ') as options 
FROM pg_catalog.pg_index i JOIN pg_catalog.pg_class t ON (t.oid = i.indexrelid) 
LEFT JOIN pg_catalog.pg_depend d ON (d.classid = t.tableoid AND d.objid = t.oid 
AND d.deptype = 'i') LEFT JOIN pg_catalog.pg_constraint c ON (d.refclassid = 
c.tableoid AND d.refobjid = c.oid) WHERE i.indrelid = 
'22615005'::pg_catalog.oid ORDER BY indexname
20080411 06:12:17 dumpdb FATAL: c04_20080410_public: dump failed

Note that the dump started at 14:53, but did not fail until 06:12 the next day,
and it never got to the actual copy out phase. Meanwhile other DDL using
processes were hung on the access share locks aready held by pg_dump.



David Gould       [EMAIL PROTECTED]      510 536 1443    510 282 0869
If simplicity worked, the world would be overrun with insects.

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