Thanks to Andrew Nierman for his interesting talk yesterday on query planner, EXPLAIN command, and such.
Today I noticed that v9 will provide a machine-readable version of EXPLAIN. That should make it even easier to study and test the query planner/optimizer.
EXPLAIN now machine-readable
This is an amazingly useful feature, especially when combined with auto_explain - you'll now be able to get explain output in XML, JSON or YAML, allowing for easy parsing, manipulation and comparison of the EXPLAIN output.
This also allows for transformation of the output - easily converting it to HTML, for instance. Easy comparison before and after an index is created, simplifying programmatic discovery of indexes.
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