|From:||Andres Freund <andres(at)anarazel(dot)de>|
|To:||pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org, Amit Kapila <amit(dot)kapila16(at)gmail(dot)com>, Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>|
|Subject:||Why are we PageInit'ing buffers in RelationAddExtraBlocks()?|
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The zheap patchset, even after being based on pluggable storage,
currently has the following condition in RelationAddExtraBlocks():
Assert(BufferGetBlockNumber(buffer) != ZHEAP_METAPAGE);
freespace = PageGetZHeapFreeSpace(page);
PageInit(page, BufferGetPageSize(buffer), 0);
freespace = PageGetHeapFreeSpace(page);
I.e. it initializes the page differently when zheap is used versus
Thinking about whether it's worth to allow to extend that function in an
extensible manner made me wonder: Is it actually a good idea to
initialize the page at that point, including marking it dirty?
As far as I can tell that that has several downsides:
- Dirtying the buffer for initialization will cause potentially
superfluous IO, with no interesting data in the write except for a
newly initialized page.
- As there's no sort of interlock, it's entirely possible that, after a
crash, the blocks will come up empty, but with the FSM returning it as
as empty, so that path would be good to support anyway.
- It adds heap specific code to a routine that otherwise could be
generic for different table access methods
It seems to me, this could be optimized by *not* initializing the page,
and having a PageIsNew(), check at the places that check whether the
page is new, and initialize it in that case.
Right now we'll just ignore such pages when we encounter them
(e.g. after a crash) until vacuum initializes them. But given that we've
accepted that we'll potentially create empty pages anyway, I don't see
what advantages that provides? The warnings emitted by vacuum are
pretty scary, and can happen in a lot of legitimate cases, so removing
them seems like a good idea anyway.
I'm pretty tired, so I might be missing something large and obvious
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