Our professor told us the following story: Oracle. A client issued a
selective delete statement on a big table. After two days he lost
patience and pulled the plug. Unfortunately while starting up, oracle
had to restore all the deleted rows, which took it another two days. He
reasoned that one better copies all rows that are not to be deleted in
another table drops the original table afterwards. (Concurrency, fks,
indexes are not the question here). So I wondered how this works in
PostgreSQL. As I understand it, what's going on is the following:

1. The transaction 45 is started. It is recorded as in-progress.
2. The rows selected in the delete statement are one by one marked as
to-be-deleted by txn 45. Among them row 27.
3. If a concurrently running read committed txn 47 wants to update row
27, it blocks, awaiting whether txn 45 commits or aborts.
4.1 When txn 45 commits, it is marked as such.
5.1 txn 47 can continue, but as row 27 was deleted, it is not affected
by txn 47's update statement.
4.2 When txn 45 aborts, it is marked as such. This means the same as not
being marked at all.
5.2 txn 47 continues and updates row 27.

Now if you pull the plug after 2, at startup, pg will go through the
in-progress txns and mark them as aborted. That's all the recovery in
this case. All rows are still there. O(1).

How does oracle do that? Has all this something to do with mvcc? Why
does it take oracle so long to recover?


Markus Bertheau <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

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