Re: GUC names in messages

From: Alvaro Herrera <alvherre(at)alvh(dot)no-ip(dot)org>
To: Peter Smith <smithpb2250(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: Nathan Bossart <nathandbossart(at)gmail(dot)com>, Laurenz Albe <laurenz(dot)albe(at)cybertec(dot)at>, Peter Eisentraut <peter(at)eisentraut(dot)org>, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, Daniel Gustafsson <daniel(at)yesql(dot)se>, PostgreSQL Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: GUC names in messages
Date: 2023-11-09 11:04:21
Message-ID: 202311091104.l57bnizku723@alvherre.pgsql
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On 2023-Nov-09, Peter Smith wrote:

> Notice that NOT QUOTED is the far more common pattern, so my vote
> would be just to standardise on making everything this way. I know
> there was some concern raised about ambiguous words like "timezone"
> and "datestyle" etc but in practice, those are rare. Also, those GUCs
> are different in that they are written as camel-case (e.g.
> "DateStyle") in the guc_tables.c, so if they were also written
> camel-case in the messages that could remove ambiguities with normal
> words. YMMV.

Well, I think camel-casing is also a sufficient differentiator for these
identifiers not being English words. We'd need to ensure they're always
written that way, when not quoted. However, in cases where arbitrary
values are expanded, I don't know that they would be expanded that way,
so I would still go for quoting in that case.

There's also a few that are not camel-cased nor have any underscores --
looking at postgresql.conf.sample, we have "port", "bonjour", "ssl",
"fsync", "geqo", "jit", "autovacuum", "xmlbinary", "xmloption". (We also
have "include", but I doubt that's ever used in an error message). But
actually, there's more: every reloption is a candidate, and there we
have "fillfactor", "autosummarize", "fastupdate", "buffering". So if we
want to make generic advice on how to deal with option names in error
messages, I think the wording on conditional quoting I proposed should
go in (adding CamelCase as a reason not to quote), and then we can fix
the code to match. Looking at your list, I think the changes to make
are not too numerous.

Álvaro Herrera 48°01'N 7°57'E —
"Nadie está tan esclavizado como el que se cree libre no siéndolo" (Goethe)

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