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Re: Description of SIGHUP GUC parameters

From: Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: pgsql-docs(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Re: Description of SIGHUP GUC parameters
Date: 2006-02-08 22:17:56
Message-ID: 1139437076.1258.266.camel@localhost.localdomain (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-docs
On Sat, 2006-01-21 at 14:46 -0500, Tom Lane wrote:
> Currently, the standard boilerplate description of a SIGHUP parameter
> is
> 
>         This option can only be set at server start or in the
>         <filename>postgresql.conf</filename> file.
> 
> We've heard from more than one person who found this confusing ---
> frequently it's misread as saying that the parameter cannot be changed
> after postmaster start.  Doubtless this is partly because the
> boilerplate phrase for a POSTMASTER parameter is
> 
>         This option can only be set at server start.
> 
> However, previous discussions have dried up without coming up with a
> better phrase.  It occurred to me today that this might work better:
> 
>         This option can only be set in the <filename>postgresql.conf</>
>         file or on the server command line.
> 
> I think mentioning the config file first is important to focus attention
> on that.  The only other way to set these parameters is via command-line
> switches, so we should just say that rather than emphasizing the "server
> start time" aspect of it, which is exactly what not to emphasize.

Just seen this again today and agree its confusing. 

<wildassertion>I think most people think that all parameters can only be
set at server start, until they have dug deeper. Most other systems
software requires a restart to pick up new parameters</wildassertion>

Why not simply use the technical phrase: "SIGHUP" etc. We can just say
'these terms are shorthand for "......" '

I'm not crazy about the terms but at least it is explicit and accurate.
It would also allow us to have a much longer description of all of the
implications and difficulties of each mode.

Best Regards, Simon Riggs


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