I read in the manual today:

  Indexes are not used for IS NULL clauses by default. The best way to use
  indexes in such cases is to create a partial index using an IS NULL
  predicate.
  
This is from the documentation for PostgreSQL 8.  I did not find anything
equivalent in the 7.4.8-documentation.
  
I wasn't aware of this until it became an issue :-) Well, so I follow the
tip but in vain.  Reduced and reproduced like this in PostgreSQL 7.4.7:

test=# create table mock(a int, b int);
CREATE TABLE
test=# create index b_is_null on mock((b IS NULL));
CREATE INDEX
test=# insert into mock values (10,20);
INSERT 70385040 1
test=# insert into mock values (20,30);
INSERT 70385041 1
test=# insert into mock values (30, NULL);
INSERT 70385042 1
test=# set enable_seqscan=off; 
SET
test=# explain select * from mock where b is NULL;
                             QUERY PLAN                             
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 Seq Scan on mock (cost=100000000.00..100000020.00 rows=6 width=8)
   Filter: (b IS NULL)
(2 rows)

vacuum analyze also didn't help to recognize the index ;-)

Any tips?  Rewrite the application to not use NULL-values?  Hide under
bedclothes and hope the problem goes away?  Install more memory in the
server? :-)

-- 
Tobias Brox, Beijing

---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
TIP 9: the planner will ignore your desire to choose an index scan if your
      joining column's datatypes do not match

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