> Honestly, this seems like an inordinate amount of
> babysitting for a production application.  I'm not
> sure if the client will be willing to accept it.

Well, then, tell them not to delete 75% of the rows in a table at once.  I 
imagine that operation brought processing to a halt, too.

> Admittedly my knowledge of the inner workings of an
> RDBMS is limited, but could somebody explain to me why
> this would be so?  If you delete a bunch of rows why
> doesn't the index get updated at the same time?  

It does get updated.  What doesn't happen is the space getting reclaimed.  In 
a *normal* data situation, those dead nodes would be replaced with new index 
nodes.   However, a mass-delete-in-one-go messes that system up.

> Is 
> this a common issue among all RDBMSs or is it
> something that is PostgreSQL specific?  

Speaking from experience, this sort of thing affects MSSQL as well, although 
the maintenance routines are different.

Josh Berkus
Aglio Database Solutions
San Francisco

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