This has probably been asked before, but I'll re-ask to spark debate on it again.

Is there any good reason to not have explain analyze also include information if 
temporary files will be required on sorts, hashes, etc. during the processing of a 
query.  [Idea being setting your sort_mem won't be purely anecdotal]... maybe include 
how much space it needed in temp files?  
something along the lines of: 

Sort (Cost=1..10) (Actual=1..1000) (Temp Files=5MB)

Seeing that and looking at your current sort_mem and seeing it is 4MB you'll have the 
info you need to get a nice boost by avoiding that spill at a low cost. 


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