Re: single bit integer (TINYINT) revisited for 8.5

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
Cc: Caleb Cushing <xenoterracide(at)gmail(dot)com>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: single bit integer (TINYINT) revisited for 8.5
Date: 2009-07-01 16:23:59
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Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com> writes:
> But ... the nice thing about PostgreSQL is that data types can be loaded
> at runtime. Which means that you don't need INT1 in core for it to be
> useful to you and others; just write the data type and put it on
> pgFoundry.

Yeah. The argument against that used to be that you couldn't integrate
it properly into the numeric type hierarchy, but I think that's no
longer the case now that add-on types can define which type category
they belong to. At the very least it would be useful to try to do it
as an add-on and see if there are still any obstacles to that.

Which of course brings up the other argument against doing it, which
was that it'd possibly mess up the rather delicate arrangement of
implicit promotions among the numeric types. That was based on very
old bad experiences, though, so I'm not certain if there's still a
problem. Again, if there is a reason why an add-on type couldn't solve
the problem while a built-in type could, I'd be more interested in
finding and fixing that problem than in the value of INT1 per se.

regards, tom lane

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