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Re: [HACKERS] Data type removal

From: "Thomas G(dot) Lockhart" <lockhart(at)alumni(dot)caltech(dot)edu>
To: hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Data type removal
Date: 1998-03-25 07:41:24
Message-ID: 3518B524.77BFDA85@alumni.caltech.edu (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
> The postgres type system is very flexible and powerful as is. What is 
> the problem this is trying to solve?
> 
> What is the motivation for data type removal?

There are many motivations involved here. I brought it up originally
because the char2-16 types are not supported and do not provide any
functionality over the char(),varchar(),text string types.

Others suggested that since they do not care about the geometric types
that those should be removed too.

I regret bringing it up. Postgres has many unique features, and
stripping it to become a plain vanilla SQL92 machine is a waste of time
imo. 

If any restructuring happens which removes, or makes optional, some of
the fundamental types, it should be accomplished so that the types can
be added in transparently, from a single set of source code, during
build time or after. OIDs would have to be assigned, presumably, and the
hardcoding of the function lookups for builtin types must somehow be
done incrementally. Probably needs more than this to be done right, and
without careful planning and implementation we will be taking a big step
backwards.

With the amount of time being spent in discussion, _still without any
quantitative estimates for performance improvement_, it seems like
someone should do some measurements. Even without them though it is
pretty clear that it won't benefit a large database, since the fraction
of time spent constructing a query will be small compared to the time it
takes to traverse the tables in the query.

Seems to me that Postgres' niche is at the high end of size and
capability, not at the lightweight end competing for design wins against
systems which don't even have transactions.

                      - Tom

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