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== PostgreSQL Weekly News - May 17 2009 ==

From: David Fetter <david(at)fetter(dot)org>
To: PostgreSQL Announce <pgsql-announce(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: == PostgreSQL Weekly News - May 17 2009 ==
Date: 2009-05-18 05:24:37
Message-ID: 20090518052437.GB30744@fetter.org (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-announce
== PostgreSQL Weekly News - May 17 2009 ==

pgDay San Jose will be Sunday June 19, 2009, kicking off OSCON.
Submit your propoasals by June 8, 2009 to conference-sf-speakers AT
pgfoundry DOT org and find out by June 20, 2009 whether your proposal
has been accepted.
http://www.postgresql.org/about/news.1082

Yet Another Perl Conference 10 will be in Pittsburgh June 22-24, with
talks during by David Fetter and courses afterward by noted instructor
Joe Celko.
http://yapc10.org

PGCon 2009 is happening this week in Ottawa.  Expect lots of news
after.

== PostgreSQL 8.4 Feature of the Week ==

Common Table Expressions.  With a simple syntax, you can create your
own run-once VIEWs at run time, and they can recurse, which puts tree
structures in your grasp.

== PostgreSQL Tip of the Week ==

Never run with fsync=off unless you can afford to replace your whole
database cluster from scratch.  If the transaction log is hurting
performance too much, use synchronous_commit=false instead.

== PostgreSQL Jobs for May ==

http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-jobs/2009-05/threads.php

== PostgreSQL Local ==

On May 20th 2009 in Pisa, Gabriele Bartolini of 2ndQuadrant Italia
will participate to the event "Open-Source: companies meet the
students" organised by the Tuscany Open Source Software Laboratory.
More information (in Italian):
http://www.tosslab.it/open-source-aziende-e-studenti-si-incontrano

PGCon 2009 will be held 21-22 May 2009, in Ottawa at the University of
Ottawa.  It will be preceded by two days of tutorials on 19-20 May
2009.
http://www.pgcon.org/2009/

PgDay Florianopolis will be May 22, 2009. Contact Dickson S. Guedes
(guedes AT guedesoft DOT net) to participate or submit a paper.
http://www.postgresql.org.br/eventos/pgday/sc

PGDay Junin / Buenos Aires Unnoba will be on June 6, 2009.
http://www.arpug.com.ar/trac/wiki/PgDayUnnoba

Save The Date: pgDay San Jose.  Sunday, July 19th 2009 immediately
before OSCON.  CfP, more info TBA!

PGCon Brazil will be take place October 23-24 2009 at Unicamp in
Campinas, Sao Paulo state.

PGDay.EU 2009 will be at Telecom ParisTech in Paris, France on
November 6-7, 2009.
http://www.pgday.eu/

== PostgreSQL in the News ==

Planet PostgreSQL: http://planet.postgresql.org/

PostgreSQL Weekly News is brought to you this week by David Fetter and
Josh Berkus.

Submit news and announcements by Sunday at 3:00pm Pacific time.
Please send English language ones to david(at)fetter(dot)org, German language
to pwn(at)pgug(dot)de, Italian language to pwn(at)itpug(dot)org(dot)

== Applied Patches ==

Tom Lane committed:

- Fix cost_nestloop and cost_hashjoin to model the behavior of semi
  and anti joins a bit better, ie, understand the differing cost
  functions for matched and unmatched outer tuples.  There is more
  that could be done in cost_hashjoin but this already helps a great
  deal.  Per discussions with Robert Haas.

- In pgsql/src/bin/pg_dump/pg_dumpall.c, adjust pg_dumpall so that it
  emits ENCODING, LC_COLLATE, and LC_CTYPE options in its CREATE
  DATABASE commands only for databases that have settings different
  from the installation defaults.  This is a low-tech method of
  avoiding unnecessary platform dependencies in dump files.
  Eventually we ought to have a platform-independent way of specifying
  LC_COLLATE and LC_CTYPE, but that's not going to happen for 8.4, and
  this patch at least avoids the issue for people who aren't setting
  up per-database locales.  ENCODING doesn't have the platform
  dependency problem, but it seems consistent to make it act the same
  as the locale settings.

- In pgsql/src/backend/optimizer/util/predtest.c, make a marginal
  performance improvement in predicate_implied_by and
  predicate_refuted_by: if either top-level input is a single-element
  list, reduce it to its lone member before proceeding.  This avoids a
  useless level of AND-recursion within the recursive proof routines.
  It's worth doing because, for example, if the clause is a
  100-element list and the predicate is a 1-element list then we'd
  otherwise strip the predicate's list structure 100 times as we
  iterate through the clause.  It's only needed at top level because
  there won't be any trivial ANDs below that --- this situation is an
  artifact of the decision to represent even single-item conditions as
  Lists in the "implicit AND" format, and that format is only used at
  the top level of any predicate or restriction condition.

- In pgsql/src/backend/optimizer/util/predtest.c, partially revert my
  patch of 2008-11-12 that installed a limit on the number of AND/OR
  clause branches that predtest.c would attempt to deal with.  As
  noted in bug #4721, that change disabled proof attempts for sizes of
  problems that people are actually expecting it to work for.  The
  original complaint it was trying to solve was O(N^2) behavior for
  long IN-lists, so let's try applying the limit to just
  ScalarArrayOpExprs rather than everything.  Another case of "foolish
  consistency" I fear.  Back-patch to 8.2, same as the previous patch
  was.

- Do some minor code refactoring in preparation for changing the APIs
  of find_inheritance_children() and find_all_inheritors().  I got
  annoyed that these are buried inside the planner but mostly used
  elsewhere.  So, create a new file catalog/pg_inherits.c and put them
  there, along with a couple of other functions that search
  pg_inherits.  The code that modifies pg_inherits is (still) in
  tablecmds.c --- it's kind of entangled with unrelated code that
  modifies pg_depend and other stuff, so pulling it out seemed like a
  bigger change than I wanted to make right now.  But this file
  provides a natural home for it if anyone ever gets around to that.
  This commit just moves code around; it doesn't change anything,
  except I succumbed to the temptation to make a couple of trivial
  optimizations in typeInheritsFrom().

- Modify find_inheritance_children() and find_all_inheritors() to add
  the ability to lock relations as they scan pg_inherits, and to
  ignore any relations that have disappeared by the time we get lock
  on them.  This makes uses of these functions safe against concurrent
  DROP operations on child tables: we will effectively ignore any
  just-dropped child, rather than possibly throwing an error as in
  recent bug report from Thomas Johansson (and similar past
  complaints).  The behavior should not change otherwise, since the
  code was acquiring those same locks anyway, just a little bit later.
  An exception is LockTableCommand(), which is still behaving
  unsafely; but that seems to require some more discussion before we
  change it.

- Fix LOCK TABLE to eliminate the race condition that could make it
  give weird errors when tables are concurrently dropped.  To do this
  we must take lock on each relation before we check its privileges.
  The old code was trying to do that the other way around, which is a
  bit pointless when there are lots of other commands that lock
  relations before checking privileges.  I did keep it checking each
  relation's privilege before locking the next relation, which is a
  detail that ALTER TABLE isn't too picky about.

- In pgsql/src/backend/utils/adt/xml.c, fix intratransaction memory
  leaks in xml_recv, xmlconcat, xmlroot, and xml_parse, all arising
  from the same sloppy usage of parse_xml_decl.  The original coding
  had that function returning its output string parameters in the
  libxml context, which is long-lived, and all but one of its callers
  neglected to free the strings afterwards.  The easiest and most
  bulletproof fix is to return the strings in the local palloc context
  instead, since that's short-lived.  This was only costing a dozen or
  two bytes per function call, but that adds up fast if the function
  is called repeatedly ...  Noted while poking at the more general
  problem of what to do with our libxml memory allocation hooks.
  Back-patch to 8.3, which has the identical coding.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/release-8.4.sgml, update release notes for
  changes through 2009-05-11.  Also some minor copy-editing and
  reordering of items.

- Rewrite xml.c's memory management (yet again).  Give up on the idea
  of redirecting libxml's allocations into a Postgres context.
  Instead, just let it use malloc directly, and add PG_TRY blocks as
  needed to be sure we release libxml data structures in error
  recovery code paths.  This is ugly but seems much more likely to
  play nicely with third-party uses of libxml, as seen in recent
  trouble reports about using Perl XML facilities in pl/perl and bug
  #4774 about contrib/xml2.  I left the code for allocation
  redirection in place, but it's only built/used if you #define
  USE_LIBXMLCONTEXT.  This is because I found it useful to corral
  libxml's allocations in a palloc context when hunting for libxml
  memory leaks, and we're surely going to have more of those in the
  future with this type of approach.  But we don't want it turned on
  in a normal build because it breaks exactly what we need to fix.  I
  have not re-indented most of the code sections that are now wrapped
  by PG_TRY(); that's for ease of review.  pg_indent will fix it.
  This is a pre-existing bug in 8.3, but I don't dare back-patch this
  change until it's gotten a reasonable amount of field testing.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/func.sgml, remove a useless backslash from a
  pattern-match example.  Michael Toews.

- In pgsql/src/backend/rewrite/rewriteDefine.c, add checks to
  DefineQueryRewrite() to prohibit attaching rules to relations that
  aren't RELKIND_RELATION or RELKIND_VIEW, and to disallow attaching
  rules to system relations unless allowSystemTableMods is on.  This
  is to make the behavior of CREATE RULE more like CREATE TRIGGER,
  which disallows the comparable cases.  Per discussion of bug #4808.

- In pgsql/src/backend/access/transam/xlog.c, improve a couple of
  comments.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/pgstandby.sgml, clean up overly hasty docs
  patch for pg_standby.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/release-8.4.sgml, update release notes to
  today.

- In pgsql/src/backend/access/transam/recovery.conf.sample, include
  recovery_end_command in recovery.conf.sample.  Per suggestion of
  Jaime Casanova.

- Fix all the server-side SIGQUIT handlers (grumble ... why so many
  identical copies?) to ensure they really don't run
  proc_exit/shmem_exit callbacks, as was intended.  I broke this
  behavior recently by installing atexit callbacks without thinking
  about the one case where we truly don't want to run those callback
  functions.  Noted in an example from Dave Page.

- In pgsql/src/backend/libpq/pg_ident.conf.sample, improve comments in
  pg_ident.conf.sample.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/client-auth.sgml, make an editorial pass over
  the Client Authentication material.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/storage.sgml, minor editorialization on
  storage.sgml's documentation of free space maps.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/maintenance.sgml, minor copy-editing for
  description of partial-table vacuuming.

Magnus Hagander committed:

- In pgsql/src/backend/libpq/be-secure.c, support SSL certificate
  chains in the server certificate file.  Andrew (RhodiumToad) Gierth.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/release-8.4.sgml, edit the SSL and Kerberos
  parts of the release notes a bit, and add a note about the
  certificates chains patch just applied.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/release-8.4.sgml, move crypt auth comment to
  proper section.  Add some details about the name=value format of
  auth options.

Heikki Linnakangas committed:

- Add recovery_end_command option to recovery.conf.
  recovery_end_command is run at the end of archive recovery,
  providing a chance to do external cleanup. Modify pg_standby so that
  it no longer removes the trigger file, that is to be done using the
  recovery_end_command now.  Provide a "smart" failover mode in
  pg_standby, where we don't fail over immediately, but only after
  recovering all unapplied WAL from the archive.  That gives you zero
  data loss assuming all WAL was archived before failover, which is
  what most users of pg_standby actually want.  recovery_end_command
  by Simon Riggs, pg_standby changes by Fujii Masao and myself.

- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/release-8.4.sgml, add a note to release notes
  about the smart failover mode in pg_standby.

Alvaro Herrera committed:

- Translation updates.

Marc Fournier committed:

- commit for BETA2.

== Rejected Patches (for now) ==

Dickson S. Guedes's patch to change charset.sgml.  CVS failure.

== Pending Patches ==

Damien Clochard sent in another revision of the patch to add inherited
tables to \d+ output.

Khee Chin sent in three more revision of his patch to add index type
and index expression to \d output in psql.

ITAGAKI Takahiro sent in a WIP patch to allow the FORCE QUOTE and
FORCE NOT NULL options in COPY ... CSV not to take a column name as
argument, and for absence of that argument to mean that the options
would apply to all columns.

Pavel Stehule sent in two revisions of the GROUPING SETS patch.

KaiGai Kohei sent in another revision of his SE-PostgreSQL patches.

Euler Taveira de Oliveira sent in a patch to use ngettext on some more
plural forms.


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