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== PostgreSQL Weekly News - August 14 2011 ==

From: David Fetter <david(at)fetter(dot)org>
To: PostgreSQL Announce <pgsql-announce(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: == PostgreSQL Weekly News - August 14 2011 ==
Date: 2011-08-15 01:32:39
Message-ID: 20110815013239.GB11498@fetter.org (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-announce
== PostgreSQL Weekly News - August 14 2011 ==

== PostgreSQL Product News ==

MyJSQLView 3.30, a GUI tool that can be used with PostgreSQL, released.
http://dandymadeproductions.com/projects/MyJSQLView/

pgpool-II 3.1.0 beta1, a connection pooler and more, released.
http://pgfoundry.org/projects/pgpool/

A German language tutorial for PostgreSQL 9.0 has been released.
http://workshop-postgresql.de

pgwatch 1.0beta2, a monitoring tool for PostgreSQL, released.
http://www.cybertec.at/en/pgwatch/

== PostgreSQL Local ==

PGDay Porto Alegre will be on August 19, 2011 in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
http://www.postgresql.org.br/eventos/2011/pgday/rs

Postgres Open 2011, a conference focused on disruption of the database
industry through PostgreSQL, will take place September 14-16, 2011 in
Chicago, Illinois at the Westin Michigan Avenue hotel.
http://postgresopen.org

PG-Day Denver 2011 will be held on Friday, October 21st, 2011 at
the Auraria Campus near downtown Denver, Colorado.
http://pgday.consistentstate.com/

PostgreSQL Conference West (#PgWest) will be held September 27th-30th,
2011 at the San Jose Convention center in San Jose, California, USA.
http://www.postgresqlconference.org

PostgreSQL Conference Europe 2011 will be held on October 18-21 in
Amsterdam.
http://2011.pgconf.eu/

pgbr will be in Sao Paulo, Brazil November 3-4, 2011.
http://pgbr.postgresql.org.br/

PGConf.DE 2011 is the German-speaking PostgreSQL Conference and will
take place on November 11th in the Rheinisches Industriemuseum in
Oberhausen, Germany.  Call for Papers is open.
http://2011.pgconf.de/

== 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)  Spanish language
to pwn(at)arpug(dot)com(dot)ar(dot)

== Reviews ==

== Applied Patches ==

Andrew Dunstan pushed:

- Correct the lie in pg_config.h.win32 about having inttypes.h.  This
  lie has been harmless until now, but has been exposed by the change
  to include postgres.h before the python headers, which in some
  versions include inttypes.h if HAVE_INTTYPES_H is set.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/f54e373d93f72d87ce2cafd7373bd7b0534b2065

Robert Haas pushed:

- Teach vacuumlo to limit number of removals, via new -l option.
  Also, handle failure better: don't just blindly keep trying to
  delete stuff after the transaction has already failed.  Tim Lewis,
  reviewed by Josh Kupershmidt, with further hacking by me.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/b69f2e36402aaa222ed03c1769b3de6d5be5f302

- Teach psql to display the comments on conversions and domains.  \dc
  and \dD now accept a "+" option, which will cause the comments to be
  displayed.  Along the way, correct a few oversights in the previous
  commit in this area, 3b17efdfdd846c9bfad1637686e6f18198ea3df5 -
  namely, (1) when \dL+ is used, make description still be the last
  column, for consistency with what we've done elsewhere; and (2)
  document the difference between \dC and \dC+.  Josh Kupershmidt,
  with a couple of doc changes by me.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/c9ac00e6ecfaad4d6a3e1ee478b912c7227ae62a

- Teach psql to display the comments on SQL/MED objects in verbose
  mode.  The relevant backslash commands already exist, so we're just
  adding an additional column.  With this commit, all objects that
  have psql backslash commands and accept comments should now display
  those comments at least in verbose mode.  Josh Kupershmidt, with doc
  additions by me.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/d82a9d2a600b764aabdc37507c50d9229f8310b5

- Change psql's \dd command to do something more useful.  Instead of
  displaying comments on an arbitrary subset of the object types which
  support them, make \dd display comments on exactly those object
  types which don't have their own backlash commands.  We now regard
  the display of comments as properly the job of the relevant
  backslash command (though many of them do so only in verbose mode)
  rather than something that \dd should be responsible for.  However,
  a handful of object types have no backlash command, so make \dd give
  information about those.  Josh Kupershmidt
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/59414cdedbc2ed418d66eddc0fcaf9dc40fbc27f

- Unbreak legacy syntax "COMMENT ON RULE x IS y", with no relation
  name.  check_object_ownership() isn't happy about the null relation
  pointer.  We could fix it there, but this seems more future-proof.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/5057366eedaccef1f4c25a7c5de0d6c1c5a291f1

- Display both per-table and per-column FDW options in psql's \d
  output.  Along the way, rename "Options" to "FDW Options" in various
  places for consistency and clarity.  Shigeru Hanada
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/d82d84864ca8ee2960a1a5d7a3f051290ac1e42f

Tom Lane pushed:

- Fix nested PlaceHolderVar expressions that appear only in
  targetlists.  A PlaceHolderVar's expression might contain another,
  lower-level PlaceHolderVar.  If the outer PlaceHolderVar is used,
  the inner one certainly will be also, and so we have to make sure
  that both of them get into the placeholder_list with correct
  ph_may_need values during the initial pre-scan of the query (before
  deconstruct_jointree starts).  We did this correctly for
  PlaceHolderVars appearing in the query quals, but overlooked the
  issue for those appearing in the top-level targetlist; with the
  result that nested placeholders referenced only in the targetlist
  did not work correctly, as illustrated in bug #6154.  While at it,
  add some error checking to find_placeholder_info to ensure that we
  don't try to create new placeholders after it's too late to do so;
  they have to all be created before deconstruct_jointree starts.
  Back-patch to 8.4 where the PlaceHolderVar mechanism was introduced.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/77ba23256404d6f975a80d5402e62f6047c67b3a

- Avoid creating PlaceHolderVars immediately within PlaceHolderVars.
  Such a construction is useless since the lower PlaceHolderVar is
  already nullable; no need to make it more so.  Noted while pursuing
  bug #6154.  This is just a minor planner efficiency improvement,
  since the final plan will come out the same anyway after PHVs are
  flattened.  So not worth the risk of back-patching.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/cff60f2dfa470d5736a19d36eb910844e31db764

- Documentation improvement and minor code cleanups for the latch
  facility.  Improve the documentation around weak-memory-ordering
  risks, and do a pass of general editorialization on the comments in
  the latch code.  Make the Windows latch code more like the Unix
  latch code where feasible; in particular provide the same Assert
  checks in both implementations.  Fix poorly-placed WaitLatch call in
  syncrep.c.  This patch resolves, for the moment, concerns around
  weak-memory-ordering bugs in latch-related code: we have documented
  the restrictions and checked that existing calls meet them.  In 9.2
  I hope that we will install suitable memory barrier instructions in
  SetLatch/ResetLatch, so that their callers don't need to be quite so
  careful.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/4e15a4db5e65e43271f8d20750d6500ab12632d0

- Measure WaitLatch's timeout parameter in milliseconds, not
  microseconds.  The original definition had the problem that timeouts
  exceeding about 2100 seconds couldn't be specified on 32-bit
  machines.  Milliseconds seem like sufficient resolution, and finer
  grain than that would be fantasy anyway on many platforms.
  Back-patch to 9.1 so that this aspect of the latch API won't change
  between 9.1 and later releases.  Peter Geoghegan
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/9f17ffd8660243382809b8023ff3d38fbfac4e8b

- Change the autovacuum launcher to use WaitLatch instead of a poll
  loop.  In pursuit of this (and with the expectation that WaitLatch
  will be needed in more places), convert the latch field that was
  already added to PGPROC for sync rep into a generic latch that is
  activated for all PGPROC-owning processes, and change many of the
  standard backend signal handlers to set that latch when a signal
  happens.  This will allow WaitLatch callers to be wakened properly
  by these signals.  In passing, fix a whole bunch of signal handlers
  that had been hacked to do things that might change errno, without
  adding the necessary save/restore logic for errno.  Also make some
  minor fixes in unix_latch.c, and clean up bizarre and unsafe scheme
  for disowning the process's latch.  Much of this has to be
  back-patched into 9.1.  Peter Geoghegan, with additional work by Tom
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/4dab3d5ae1498eb4246e54225a48cf667ab693da

- Back-patch assorted latch-related fixes.  Fix a whole bunch of
  signal handlers that had been hacked to do things that might change
  errno, without adding the necessary save/restore logic for errno.
  Also make some minor fixes in unix_latch.c, and clean up bizarre and
  unsafe scheme for disowning the process's latch.  While at it,
  rename the PGPROC latch field to procLatch for consistency with 9.2.
  Issues noted while reviewing a patch by Peter Geoghegan.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/989f530d3f793ed1c990d705d0958bfd2a533b85

- Add a bit of debug logging to backend_read_statsfile().  This is in
  hopes of learning more about what causes "pgstat wait timeout"
  warnings in the buildfarm.  This patch should probably be reverted
  once we've learned what we can.  As coded, it will result in
  regression test "failures" at half the delay that the existing code
  does, so I expect to see a few more than before.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/79b2ee20c8a041a85dd230c4e787bef22edae57b

- Remove wal_sender_delay GUC, because it's no longer useful.  The
  latch infrastructure is now capable of detecting all cases where the
  walsender loop needs to wake up, so there is no reason to have an
  arbitrary timeout.  Also, modify the walsender loop logic to follow
  the standard pattern of ResetLatch, test for work to do, WaitLatch.
  The previous coding was both hard to follow and buggy: it would
  sometimes busy-loop despite having nothing available to do, eg
  between receipt of a signal and the next time it was caught up with
  new WAL, and it also had interesting choices like deciding to update
  to WALSNDSTATE_STREAMING on the strength of information known to be
  obsolete.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/cff75130b5f63e45423c2ed90d6f2e84c21ef840

- Teach unix_latch.c to use poll() where available.  poll() is
  preferred over select() on platforms where both are available,
  because it tends to be a bit faster and it doesn't have an arbitrary
  limit on the range of FD numbers that can be accessed.  The FD range
  limit does not appear to be a risk factor for any 9.1 usages, so
  this doesn't need to be back-patched, but we need to have it in
  place if we keep on expanding the uses of WaitLatch.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/a180776f7a1c4554f214bd9e67bd63bfaf33e339

- Fix incorrect timeout handling during initial authentication
  transaction.  The statement start timestamp was not set before
  initiating the transaction that is used to look up client
  authentication information in pg_authid.  In consequence,
  enable_sig_alarm computed a wrong value (far in the past) for
  statement_fin_time.  That didn't have any immediate effect, because
  the timeout alarm was set without reference to statement_fin_time;
  but if we subsequently blocked on a lock for a short time,
  CheckStatementTimeout would consult the bogus value when we
  cancelled the lock timeout wait, and then conclude we'd timed out,
  leading to immediate failure of the connection attempt.  Thus an
  innocent "vacuum full pg_authid" would cause failures of concurrent
  connection attempts.  Noted while testing other, more serious
  consequences of vacuum full on system catalogs.  We should set the
  statement timestamp before StartTransactionCommand(), so that the
  transaction start timestamp is also valid.  I'm not sure if there
  are any non-cosmetic effects of it not being valid, but the xact
  timestamp is at least sent to the statistics machinery.  Back-patch
  to 9.0.  Before that, the client authentication timeout was done
  outside any transaction and did not depend on this state to be
  valid.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/592b615d71caac8a3504276a805a6fd024c40041

- Fix unsafe order of operations in foreign-table DDL commands.  When
  updating or deleting a system catalog tuple, it's necessary to
  acquire RowExclusiveLock on the catalog before looking up the tuple;
  otherwise a concurrent VACUUM FULL on the catalog might move the
  tuple to a different TID before we can apply the update.  Coding
  patterns that find the tuple via a table scan aren't at risk here,
  but when obtaining the tuple from a catalog cache, correct ordering
  is important; and several routines in foreigncmds.c got it wrong.
  Noted while running the regression tests in parallel with VACUUM
  FULL of assorted system catalogs.  For consistency I moved all the
  heap_open calls to the starts of their functions, including a couple
  for which there was no actual bug.  Back-patch to 8.4 where
  foreigncmds.c was added.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/52994e9e5686b10a92bc93ec0f4e15c7fbc18242

Heikki Linnakangas pushed:

- Fix grammar and spelling in log message.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/5b6c8436d7e696cced4db14c885eff23f87dc712

- Change the way string relopts are allocated.  Don't try to allocate
  the default value for a string relopt in the same palloc chunk as
  the relopt_string struct.  That didn't work too well if you added a
  built-in string relopt in the stringRelOpts array, as it's not
  possible to have an initializer for a variable length struct in C.
  This makes the code slightly simpler too.  While we're at it, move
  the call to validator function in add_string_reloption to before the
  allocation, so that if someone does pass a bogus default value, we
  don't leak memory.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/77949a2913b3cbaa7b2e2a73f014d541e251f18b

- If backup-end record is not seen, and we reach end of recovery from
  a streamed backup, throw an error and refuse to start up. The
  restore has not finished correctly in that case and the data
  directory is possibly corrupt.  We already errored out in case of
  archive recovery, but could not during crash recovery because we
  couldn't distinguish between the case that pg_start_backup() was
  called and the database then crashed (must not error, data is OK),
  and the case that we're restoring from a backup and not all the
  needed WAL was replayed (data can be corrupt).  To distinguish those
  cases, add a line to backup_label to indicate whether the backup was
  taken with pg_start/stop_backup(), or by streaming (ie.
  pg_basebackup).  This requires re-initdb, because of a new field
  added to the control file.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/41f9ffd928b6fdcedd685483e777b0fa71ece47c

- Oops, we're working on version 9.2 already, not 9.1. Update the
  PG_CONTROL_VERSION accordingly; I updated it wrong in previous
  commit.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/1f1b70a7cf957b88433f871f3732ad5701b6ad8b

Peter Eisentraut pushed:

- Use clearer notation for getnameinfo() return handling.  Writing if
  (getnameinfo(...)) {handle_error()}; reads quite strangely, so use
  something like if (getnameinfo(...) != 0) {handle_error()}; instead.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/f4a9da0a150ead846be33c38f665f4337a81054e

- Fix typo
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/7431cb251a6c36ea520f955dd03d4b35b0f0f3e4

- Message style improvements
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/85612039b9eab75c2a29399f3a394acd4ca4cc3f

Bruce Momjian pushed:

- Add major features list and introductory text for 9.1 release notes.
  Backpatch to 9.1, obviously.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/eb72adc82e933f135369d846c2151c7694ffaa36

- Make USECS_PER_* timestamp macros visible even when we are not using
  integer timestamps.
  http://git.postgresql.org/pg/commitdiff/6d7bd5dec9e073018d9c2bea51d8e271cf5a5af6

== Rejected Patches (for now) ==

No one was disappointed this week :-)

== Pending Patches ==

Robert Haas sent in a patch which replaces lseek() with fstat() to get
file sizes.

Alex Hunsaker sent in a patch to fix an issue with PL/Perl's signal
handling.

Robert Haas sent in a patch to fix an issue where WaitLatch is
vulnerable to weak memory ordering issues.

Heikki Linnakangas sent in a patch enforcing that all WAL has been
replayed after restoring from backup.

Alexander Korotkov and Heikki Linnakangas traded patches for fast GiST
index build.

David Byrne sent in a patch intended to fix a mismatch in pg_upgrades
count for current and new relations.

Robert Haas sent in another revision of the patch to allow index-only
scans, and there was much rejoicing.

Shigeru HANADA sent in a patch to make the output of fdw options
clearer in psql.

Simon Riggs sent in a patch intended to fix some lameness in the
buffer replacement strategy.

Heikki Linnakangas sent in a patch to allow inserting heap tuples up
to a page worth at a time in COPY.  Previously, the procedure was to
insert heap tuples individually.

David Fetter sent in a patch to make the copyright program idempoetent
and cross-platform.

Alex Hunsaker sent in a patch to make PL/Perl handle empty arrays
better.

Tom Lane sent in a patch intended to to fix VACUUM FULL/CLUSTER so
that they don't change existing toast item OIDs when vacuuming a
system catalog.


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