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Re: Friendly help for psql

From: Alvaro Herrera <alvherre(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>, pgsql-patches(at)postgresql(dot)org, Greg Sabino Mullane <greg(at)turnstep(dot)com>
Subject: Re: Friendly help for psql
Date: 2008-01-20 19:41:41
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Lists: pgsql-hackerspgsql-patches
Tom Lane wrote:

> It's interesting to note that "help", "\h", and "\?" all provoke the
> same response(s) in mysql.  Perhaps a patch that had had more than two
> seconds' design effort in it would do the same in psql; though I'm not
> sure what to do to disambiguate the case with no arguments.

I'm not sure that plain \? and \h output is all that useful.  If you
can understand what to make from that, you wouldn't be using "help" in
the first place.  I think a more extensive text would be more
appropriate, which referenced the \? and \h commands so that the user
could take a peek after reading the blurb.

To avoid the usage of unadorned "help" (which I don't think is going to
ever cause conflicts with a SQL command but perhaps it's better to be
prepared), one idea would be to respond with "please execute \help
instead", and then \help would emit the verbose output.  Perhaps
eventually we could adorn it with "\help category", etc.

Alvaro Herrera                      
The PostgreSQL Company - Command Prompt, Inc.

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