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Re: ERROR: tables can have at most 1600 columns

From: Alvaro Herrera <alvherre(at)dcc(dot)uchile(dot)cl>
To: Ron St-Pierre <rstpierre(at)syscor(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-general <pgsql-general(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: ERROR: tables can have at most 1600 columns
Date: 2004-06-27 19:43:52
Message-ID: 20040627194352.GA2910@dcc.uchile.cl (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-general
On Sun, Jun 27, 2004 at 11:11:32AM -0700, Ron St-Pierre wrote:
> I found this error in /var/log/messages yesterday after a cron job 
> wouldn't complete:
>   STATEMENT:  ALTER TABLE victoria.eodData DROP COLUMN tickDate;
>   ERROR:  tables can have at most 1600 columns
>   STATEMENT:  ALTER TABLE victoria.eodData ADD COLUMN tickerID INTEGER;
>   ERROR:  tables can have at most 1600 columns
>   ...etc...
> 
> The columns didn't exist at the time I tried to drop them, and \dt 
> showed that the table only contained the normal dozen columns.

Have you done the DROP COLUMN/ADD COLUMN cycle to this table more than,
say, 1500 times?  Because a dropped column is actually only hidden from
the user, but it's still present to the system and it will still affect
the 1600 limit.

Dropping the table and restoring from a backup would bring it to sanity,
as you found out.  And it will probably also get you back some
performance (though it may be so small a gain that you may not notice).

> My question is this: every night the database is vacuumed-full-analyze: 
> wouldn't that prevent this condition from happening?

Nope.

-- 
Alvaro Herrera (<alvherre[a]dcc.uchile.cl>)
"The only difference is that Saddam would kill you on private, where the
Americans will kill you in public" (Mohammad Saleh, 39, a building contractor)


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