Greg Stark <gsstark(at)mit(dot)edu> writes:
> In indexes we currently get away with a reduced header which has few
> of the 6 bytes of info bits. However the only reason we can do is
> because we impose arbitrary limitations that work for indexes but
> wouldn't be reasonable for tables. Such as a lower maximum number of
> columns, inability to add new columns or drop columns later, etc.
Wait a second, which idea are we currently talking about? No heap at
all, or just the ability to check visibility without visiting the heap?
If it's a genuine IOT (ie no separate heap), then you are not going to
be able to get away without a full heap tuple header. We've sweated
blood to get that struct down to where it is; there's no way to make it
smaller without giving up some really fundamental things, for example
the ability to do UPDATE :-(
If you just want to avoid a heap visit for visibility checks, I think
you'd only need to add xmin/xmax/cmin plus the hint bits for same.
This is going to end up costing 16 bytes in practice --- you might
think you could squeeze into 12 but on 64-bit machines (MAXALIGN 8)
you'll save nothing. So that's effectively a doubling of index size
for common cases such as a single int4 or int8 index column. The other
problem is the extra write load created by needing to update the index's
copies of the hint bits; not to mention extra writes to freeze the xids
when they get old enough.
regards, tom lane
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