OK, I am opening this can of worms again. I personally would like to
see this code activated, even if it does take 2x the disk space to alter
a column. Hiroshi had other ideas. Where did we leave this? We have
one month to decide on a plan.
> Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us> writes:
> > You can exclusively lock the table, then do a heap_getnext() scan over
> > the entire table, remove the dropped column, do a heap_insert(), then a
> > heap_delete() on the current tuple, making sure to skip over the tuples
> > inserted by the current transaction. When completed, remove the column
> > from pg_attribute, mark the transaction as committed (if desired), and
> > run vacuum over the table to remove the deleted rows.
> Hmm, that would work --- the new tuples commit at the same instant that
> the schema updates commit, so it should be correct. You have the 2x
> disk usage problem, but there's no way around that without losing
> rollback ability.
> A potentially tricky bit will be persuading the tuple-reading and tuple-
> writing subroutines to pay attention to different versions of the tuple
> structure for the same table. I haven't looked to see if this will be
> difficult or not. If you can pass the TupleDesc explicitly then it
> shouldn't be a problem.
> I'd suggest that the cleanup vacuum *not* be an automatic part of
> the operation; just recommend that people do it ASAP after dropping
> a column. Consider needing to drop several columns...
> regards, tom lane
Bruce Momjian | http://candle.pha.pa.us
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