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Re: [HACKERS] backslash in psql output

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Bruce Momjian <maillist(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: olly(at)lfix(dot)co(dot)uk (Oliver Elphick), lockhart(at)alumni(dot)caltech(dot)edu, hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] backslash in psql output
Date: 1998-10-10 22:36:10
Message-ID: 25962.908058970@sss.pgh.pa.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Bruce Momjian <maillist(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us> writes:
> If the user is reading psql output into a program, it is very unclear
> how to determine a valid column delimiter vs. a delimiter in the data. 

Quite true, but the PQprint output format has never been
program-friendly, as I pointed out previously.

I think the appropriate response to this gripe is to add another
command-line switch to psql, which would change its display of SELECT
data to something more suitable for program consumption, rather than
trying to make a single output format that's a bad compromise between
human readability and machine readability.

Perhaps the COPY data syntax would work for a program-friendly output
format?  (Basically tabs and newlines are field and row delimiters,
with (IIRC) backslash-escaping of tabs, newlines, backslash itself,
and maybe nulls and suchlike.  Also \N stands for a null field.)

> And what about the COPY command.  Do you want to change the display of
> escape characters there too?  I hope not.

I wasn't proposing any such thing, unless it proves necessary to ensure
we can copy arbitrary-8-bit text data out and back in.  But that's a
task for a future release.

			regards, tom lane

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Subject: PostgreSQL 6.4 patches - portability related.
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