== PostgreSQL Weekly News - August 30 2009 ==
8.5alpha1, the first ever PostgreSQL alpha release, is available for
download. Release notes, general alpha information, and download
Andreas (ads) Scherbaum's book, PostgreSQL. Datenbankpraxis für
Anwender, Administratoren und Entwickler, has been published.
Bug fix releases 8.4.1, 8.3.8, 8.2.13, 8.1.17, 8.0.21 and 7.4.25 will
be out soon. Get ready to upgrade!
The talk deadline for JDCon has been extended to September 5. Get
those talks in!
== PostgreSQL Product News ==
once:radix version 1.5, a rapid application development system based
on PostgreSQL 8.4, released.
Benetl 3.0, an ETL tool for files using PostgreSQL, released.
PostgreSQL Replicator 8.3.1-1.8, formerly known as Mammoth Replicator,
pgpool-II 2.2.4, a connection pooler and more, released.
== PostgreSQL Jobs for August ==
== PostgreSQL Local ==
PyCon Argentina will be in Beunos Aires on September 4-5 2009.
SFPUG presents: Nathan Boley on Statistics and Postgres.
September 8, 2009. Details including live webcast info below.
Andreas (ads) Scherbaum will be teaching a "PostgreSQL for Corporate
Use" course at the adult education center in Magdeburg, Germany on
September 7-11, 2009. Details below:
There will be a conference in Athens, Georgia, USA on September 19,
2009. The CfP is open.
There will be a conference in Seattle, Washington, USA October 16-18,
2009. The CfP is still open.
PGCon Brazil will be take place October 23-24 2009 at Unicamp in
Campinas, Sao Paulo state. The CfP is open!
PGDay.EU 2009 will be at Telecom ParisTech in Paris, France on
November 6-7, 2009. The CfP is out. Submit!
OpenSQL Camp in Portland is looking for sponsors. Make your travel plans now! :)
JPUG 10th Anniversary Conference is November 20-21, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan.
FOSDEM 2010 will be in Brussels on February 6-7, 2010.
== PostgreSQL in the News ==
Planet PostgreSQL: http://planet.postgresql.org/
PostgreSQL Weekly News is brought to you this week by David Fetter
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:
- Run the "tablespace" regression test first not last. The former
placement renders useless one of the few test methodologies we have
for WAL replay, which is to intentionally crash the system just
after completing the regression tests and see if it recovers to the
expected database state. The reason is that DROP TABLESPACE forces
a checkpoint, so there's essentially no WAL available for replay
after the tests complete.
- In pgsql/src/bin/psql/input.h, fix inclusions of readline/editline
header files so that we only attempt to #include the version of
history.h that is in the same directory as the readline.h we are
using. This avoids problems in some scenarios where both readline
and editline are installed. Report and patch by Zdenek Kotala.
- In pgsql/src/backend/postmaster/postmaster.c, small correction to
previous patch: we shouldn't ReleasePostmasterChildSlot for a
dead_end child, because we didn't AssignPostmasterChildSlot.
- Try to make silent_mode behave somewhat reasonably. Instead of
sending stdout/stderr to /dev/null after forking away from the
terminal, send them to postmaster.log within the data directory.
Since this opens the door to indefinite logfile bloat, recommend
even more strongly that log output be redirected when using
silent_mode. Move the postmaster's initial calls of load_hba() and
load_ident() down to after we have started the log collector, if we
are going to. This is so that errors reported by them will appear
in the "usual" place. Reclassify silent_mode as a LOGGING_WHERE,
not LOGGING_WHEN, parameter, since it's got absolutely nothing to do
with the latter category. In passing, fix some obsolete references
to -S ... this option hasn't had that switch letter for a long time.
Back-patch to 8.4, since as of 8.4 load_hba() and load_ident() are
more picky (and thus more likely to fail) than they used to be.
This entire change was driven by a complaint about those errors
disappearing into the bit bucket.
- In pgsql/src/backend/utils/adt/geo_ops.c, remove some unnecessary
variable assignments, per results of "clang" static checker. Paul
- Make it reasonably safe to use pg_ctl to start the postmaster from a
boot-time script. To do this, have pg_ctl pass down its parent
shell's PID in an environment variable PG_GRANDPARENT_PID, and teach
CreateLockFile() to disregard that PID as a false match if it finds
it in postmaster.pid. This allows us to cope with one level of
postgres-owned shell process even with pg_ctl in the way, so it's
just as safe as starting the postmaster directly. You still have to
be careful about how you write the initscript though. Adjust the
comments in contrib/start-scripts/ to not deprecate use of pg_ctl.
Also, fix the ROTATELOGS option in the OSX script, which was
indulging in exactly the sort of unsafe coding that renders this fix
pointless :-(. A pipe inside the "sudo" will probably result in
more than one postgres-owned process hanging around.
- In pgsql/src/Makefile.shlib, make the .DEF file generation rules
safe against tabs in exports.txt. Per bug #5016, although I think
the MSVC build scripts may need a similar fix.
- Modify the definition of window-function PARTITION BY and ORDER BY
clauses so that their elements are always taken as simple
expressions over the query's input columns. It originally seemed
like a good idea to make them act exactly like GROUP BY and ORDER
BY, right down to the SQL92-era behavior of accepting output column
names or numbers. However, that was not such a great idea, for two
reasons: 1. It permits circular references, as exhibited in bug
#5018: the output column could be the one containing the window
function itself. (We actually had a regression test case
illustrating this, but nobody thought twice about how confusing that
would be.) 2. It doesn't seem like a good idea for, eg, "lead(foo)
OVER (ORDER BY foo)" to potentially use two completely different
meanings for "foo". Accordingly, narrow down the behavior of window
clauses to use only the SQL99-compliant interpretation that the
expressions are simple expressions.
- In pgsql/src/backend/postmaster/postmaster.c, non-Windows
EXEC_BACKEND path was broken by recent write_inheritable_socket
change ... it's got to return true.
- Remove useless code that propagated FrontendProtocol to a backend
via a PostgresMain switch. In point of fact, FrontendProtocol is
already set in a backend process, since ProcessStartupPacket() is
executed inside the backend --- it hasn't been run by the postmaster
for many years. And if it were, we'd still certainly want
FrontendProtocol to be set before we get as far as PostgresMain, so
that startup errors get reported in the right protocol. -v might
have some future use in standalone backends, so I didn't go so far
as to remove the switch outright. Also, initialize FrontendProtocol
to 0 not PG_PROTOCOL_LATEST. The only likely result of presetting
it like that is to mask failure-to-set-it mistakes.
- Remove the use of the pg_auth flat file for client authentication.
(That flat file is now completely useless, but removal will come
later.) To do this, postpone client authentication into the startup
transaction that's run by InitPostgres. We still collect the
startup packet and do SSL initialization (if needed) at the same
time we did before. The AuthenticationTimeout is applied separately
to startup packet collection and the actual authentication cycle.
(This is a bit annoying, since it means a couple extra syscalls; but
the signal handling requirements inside and outside a transaction
are sufficiently different that it seems best to treat the timeouts
as completely independent.) A small security disadvantage is that if
the given database name is invalid, this will be reported to the
client before any authentication happens. We could work around that
by connecting to database "postgres" instead, but consensus seems to
be that it's not worth introducing such surprising behavior.
Processing of all command-line switches and GUC options received
from the client is now postponed until after authentication. This
means that PostAuthDelay is much less useful than it used to be ---
if you need to investigate problems during InitPostgres you'll have
to set PreAuthDelay instead. However, allowing an unauthenticated
user to set any GUC options whatever seems a bit too risky, so we'll
live with that.
- Remove duplicate variable initializations identified by clang static
checker. One of these represents a nontrivial bug (a
promptly-leaked palloc), so backpatch. Greg Stark
- In pgsql/src/backend/utils/cache/relcache.c, remove some useless
assignments of the result of fread(). Quiets warnings from clang
static checker, and makes the code more readable anyway IMO.
Alvaro Herrera committed:
- In pgsql/src/bin/pg_dump/pg_backup_custom.c, remove unused variable.
Per Grzegorz Jaskiewicz's report from LLVM static checker.
- Avoid calling kill() in a postmaster signal handler. This causes
problems when the system load is high, per report from Zdenek Kotala
in <1250860954(dot)1239(dot)114(dot)camel(at)localhost>; instead of calling kill
directly, have the signal handler set a flag which is checked in
ServerLoop. This way, the handler can return before being called
again by a subsequent signal sent from the autovacuum launcher.
Also, increase the sleep in the launcher in this failure path to 1
second. Backpatch to 8.3, which is when the signalling between
autovacuum launcher/postmaster was introduced. Also, add a couple
of ReleasePostmasterChildSlot calls in error paths; this part
backpatched to 8.4 which is when the child slot stuff was
- Fix handling of autovacuum reloptions. In the original coding,
setting a single reloption would cause default values to be used for
all the other reloptions. This is a problem particularly for
autovacuum reloptions. Itagaki Takahiro
Peter Eisentraut committed:
- Make PL/Python tests more compatible with Python 3. This changes a
bunch of incidentially used constructs in the PL/Python regression
tests to equivalent constructs in cases where Python 3 no longer
supports the old syntax. Support for older Python versions is
- Use generic attribute management in PL/Python. Switch the
implementation of the plan and result types to generic attribute
management, as described at <http://docs.python.org/extending/newtypes.html>.
This modernizes and simplifies the code a bit and prepares for
Python 3.1, where the old way doesn't work anymore.
- Enhanced error context support in PL/Python. Extract the "while
creating return value" and "while modifying trigger row" parts of
some error messages into another layer of error context. This will
simplify the upcoming patch to improve data type support, but it can
stand on its own.
- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/stylesheet.css, update the documentation CSS
stylesheet to current web site style.
- In pgsql/doc/src/sgml/stylesheet.css, correct my overly enthusiastic
- In pgsql/src/backend/parser/Makefile, add -Wno-error to CFLAGS from
gram.o as long as it's broken.
- Update of install-sh, mkinstalldirs, and associated configury.
Update install-sh to that from Autoconf 2.63, plus our
Darwin-specific changes (which I simplified a bit). install-sh is
now able to install multiple files in one run, so we could simplify
our makefiles sometime. install-sh also now has a -d option to
create directories, so we don't need mkinstalldirs anymore. Use
AC_PROG_MKDIR_P in configure.in, so we can use mkdir -p when
available instead of install-sh -d. For consistency with the rest
of the world, the corresponding make variable has been renamed from
$(mkinstalldirs) to $(MKDIR_P).
- Derived files that are shipped in the distribution used to be built
in the source directory even for out-of-tree builds. They are now
also built in the build tree. This should be more convenient for
certain developers' workflows, and shouldn't really break anything
Bruce Momjian committed:
- Update release notes for 7.4.26, 8.0.22, 8.1.18, 8.2.14, 8.3.8,
- In pgsql/src/tools/pgcvslog, remove handling of CVS entries for
TODO/FAQ, because they are removed now.
Heikki Linnakangas committed:
- In pgsql/src/backend/access/transam/xlog.c, in the checkpoint
written at the end of archive recovery, the WAL page header was
incorrectly initialized with timeline ID 0. That rendered the WAL
page unrecoverable, making a subsequent archive recovery stop at
that point. ThisTimeLineID needs to be initialized before calling
AdvanceXLInsertBuffer(). This fixes bug #5011 reported by James
Bardin. Backpatch to 8.4, as the bug was introduced by the changes
to use of bgwriter for writing the end-of-archive-recovery
checkpoint. Patch by Tom Lane.
Magnus Hagander committed:
- In pgsql/src/interfaces/ecpg/compatlib/exports.txt, exports.txt
needs to use spaces as separators, not tabs, to work properly with
the sed rules.
== Rejected Patches (for now) ==
No one was disappointed this week :-)
== Pending Patches ==
Paul Matthews sent in another revision of the patch to implement
Tom Lane sent in a WIP patch to move HBA validation after startup,
which is intended to fix a problem reported by Andrew Dunstan with
silent startup mode.
Pavel Stehule sent in another revision of the patch to fix named/mixed
KaiGai Kohei sent in a patch to redo the access control facilities.
Roger Leigh sent in an updated patch to allow psql to use Unicode
formatting characters for pretty-printing.
Alvaro Herrera sent in a WIP patch to allow for per-role, per-database
default GUC settings.
Andrew Dunstan sent in three revisions of a patch to make the output
of the pretty print option for pg_get_viewdef() more readable.
Kevin Grittner sent in two revisions of a LSB conforming launcher
Grzegorz Jaskiewicz sent in a patch to fix some issues raised by the
Roger Leigh sent in another revision of the Unicode pretty-printing
patch for psql.
Pavel Stehule sent in a WIP patch to make cursor operations in
PL/pgsql feature-complete and compatible with that in SQL.
Robert Haas sent in another revision of the join removal patch.
KaiGai Kohei sent in a patch which adds access control features to
Paul Matthews sent in two more revisions of the hypot() patch.
Greg Sabino Mullane sent in a patch to add YAML as an output format
Peter Eisentraut sent in a patch to log parameter changes.
Jeff Janes sent in a patch to implement Simon Riggs' LWLock Queue
Petr (PJMODOS) Jelinek sent in another revision of the GRANT ON ALL IN
Marko (johto) Tiikkaja sent in a WIP patch to refactor the executor in
preparation for making (INSERT|UPDATE|DELETE)...RETURNING work inside
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