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Re: Handling data in libpq

From: "John L(dot) Turner" <jlt(at)wvinter(dot)net>
To: am(at)fx(dot)ro, pgsql-interfaces(at)postgresql(dot)org
Cc: "Jeroen T(dot) Vermeulen" <jtv(at)xs4all(dot)nl>
Subject: Re: Handling data in libpq
Date: 2002-10-19 14:48:04
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Lists: pgsql-interfaces
On Saturday 19 October 2002 11:47, am(at)fx(dot)ro wrote:
> First of all, thanks for your answer.
> On Sat, Oct 19, 2002 at 01:01:36PM +0200, Jeroen T. Vermeulen wrote:
> > On Sat, Oct 19, 2002 at 01:23:52PM +0300, am(at)fx(dot)ro wrote:
> > > I'm looking for a new approach regarding fetching the data.
> > > Usage of cursors is probably the path to follow. I would be deeply
> > > grateful to anyone who would share a bit of his/her experience:
> > >
> > > - i assume the table has 50000 tuples
> > > - what is better:  to fetch one tuple at one time, or to fetch
> > >   a certain number of tuples (let's say 100).
> >
> > Obviously there is some query and communications overhead associated with
> > fetching anything, regardless of size, and the odds are it's going to be
> > larger than the cost of sending a tuple of actual data across.  So if
> > you're going to pay that overhead anyway, you'll want to get some decent
> > amount of data for it.
> Hmm.. Good point.
> So, you're saying that fetching one tuple at one time is out of discussion.
> > However, that also implies that fetching 500 blocks of 100 tuples each is
> > always going to be slower than getting 50000 tuples in one go. The two
> > advantages of fetching smaller blocks are: (1) you can start processing
> > some data right away, which might be useful for e.g. user interaction
> > (or you can use asynchronous communication so you can process your last
> > block of data while fetching the next);
> Well, the program doesn't do automatically data processing:
> it only allows the user do see and modify the data.
> >and (2) you may be running out of
> > memory when fetching and processing 50000 tuples at once.  Swapping can
> > be a real drag on performance.
> There is also another aspect: usually the user will not
> browse all of those tuples ( the program allows the user to specify
> custom WHERE and ORDER BY clauses, so that he/she can select only
> the interesting rows ; and only sometimes will scroll all tuples ).
> The conclusion is that the number of rows fetched at one time
> should be chosen carefully.
> > > - if i fetch 100 tuples, PQntuples returns 100? how do i know how
> > >   many rows has the table?
> >
> > Well, if you assume your table has 50000 rows, why do you need to ask?
> This assumption is only for that table. I want that my program
> works well even for larger tables ( most of the program's classes
> and functions are independent from the actual table, and will be
> moved to a library for later use).
> > Seriously though, you don't get this information.  But if an estimate
> > is good enough, you can "select count(*) from table" before you start
> > fetching data.
> I see: the returned number is exact as long as another user doesn't
> add/delete tuples after the 'select count(*)' and before the fetch.
> I thought there was a way to find out how many tuples would return
> a FETCH ALL, without executing that command.
> > > - i have the impression that keeping track of the tuple's index i
> > >   nside the RecordSet and the index inside the whole table is quite
> > >   tricky, but manageable. How do you guys handle this kind of
> > > situations?
> >
> > It's not so hard.  Just an extra nested loop.
> Adrian Maier

Another way to look at it, is to create a TreeView, showing only part of the 

We do that for both our Customer's and  Products Tables

First, select all the First Letters in a Customers Table's Last Name Field
Show the User That list of Characters [ A ... Z ] 

Then when the users Clicks (Selects) the Character, only those Last Names With 
the Selected Character are fetched, and added to Treeview display

Ditto for Products, only they are Grouped by a Category, then any number of  
Sub Categories, until the small group of products are shown

After the TreeView item is selected, the focus is changed to the second page 
of a Tab Form to allow each field to be edited
John Turner
JCI Inc.
"Just because you do not know the answer
does not mean that someone else does"
Stephen J. Gould, {rip}

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