Re: Backend misfeasance for DEFAULT NULL

From: Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Re: Backend misfeasance for DEFAULT NULL
Date: 2007-10-28 17:21:49
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On Sun, 2007-10-28 at 12:44 -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
> While poking at the complaint reported here:
> I realized that there is a related issue for null defaults. Consider
> create table p (f1 int default 0);
> create table c (f1 int);
> alter table c inherit p;

Seems more like an unwanted looseness in the meaning of an ALTER
TABLE .. INHERIT to me. I'd prefer it if we added some extra clauses to


> At this point, c.f1 has no default, or NULL default if you prefer.
> However, pg_dump dumps this configuration as
> create table p (f1 int default 0);
> create table c (f1 int) inherits (p);
> so after a reload c.f1 will have default 0 because it'll inherit that
> from p.
> I tried to fix this by having pg_dump insert an explicit DEFAULT NULL
> clause for c.f1, which turned out to be not too hard, but on testing
> it did nothing at all --- c.f1 still reloaded with default 0!
> Poking into it, I find that it seems to be another case of the lesson
> we should have learned some time ago: embedding semantic knowledge in
> gram.y is usually a Bad Idea. gram.y "knows" that it can throw away
> DEFAULT NULL --- see the exprIsNullConstant() uses therein. So the
> clause never makes it to the place in tablecmds.c where we consider
> whether to adopt inherited defaults or not.
> ISTM this is a backend bug: if I tell it DEFAULT NULL, by golly I
> should get DEFAULT NULL.


Simon Riggs

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