On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM, Jay Levitt <jay(dot)levitt(at)gmail(dot)com> wrote:
> Tom Lane wrote:
>> Jay Levitt<jay(dot)levitt(at)gmail(dot)com> writes:
>>> I'm new to the codebase, but I think this patch reflects real-world
>>> the PostgreSQL code itself always calls the length field "vl_len_", and I
>>> believe int32 is preferred over int4 (yes?)
>> The point of calling it vl_len_ is that it should never be referenced by
>> that name, so I'm not sure that propagating that name into user
>> documentation is a good idea. I do agree with the part of this patch
>> that recommends use of SET_VARSIZE.
> Ah, ok. My confusion came from trying to build a new extension, using cube
> as a baseline; cube (and all the other contrib extensions) use vl_len_, so I
> saw a disconnect between the "int4 length" in the manual and the
> "int32 vl_len_" in all the real-world examples I had.
> My thought was that "vl_len_" *feels* more like a "this is mysterious and
> I'd better not touch it - I'll use that macro", while "length" feels more
> like something I might just set myself if I didn't know better. But maybe
> not. Either way, the int32/int4 thing should be fixed.
>> For context, the issues you're concerned about only matter when dealing
>> with a toastable datatype (not all varlena types are toastable). The
>> particular bit of docs here doesn't pretend to be explaining how to
>> write toast-safe code. I think it might be better from an expository
>> standpoint to cover that separately, rather than try to work it into the
>> very first pass over the concepts.
> Definitely; if anything, that's why I was favoring vl_len_. This is a magic
> field. Do not touch the magic.
I've committed the parts of this to which Tom did not object.
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