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Re: WAL file location

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Andrew Sullivan <andrew(at)libertyrms(dot)info>
Cc: PostgreSQL Hackers List <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: WAL file location
Date: 2002-07-31 14:23:07
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
Andrew Sullivan <andrew(at)libertyrms(dot)info> writes:
> a.	The system uses no environment variables at all; some other
> method is used to determine where the config file is (maybe compiled
> into the code);

> If I understand it, nobody is really arguing for (a).

I am.  I see absolutely no advantage in depending on environment
variables rather than a config file.  Here's another point beyond the
ones I've made already: config files are self-documenting if we set them
up in the style used by postgresql.conf (ie, comments showing all the
allowed settings) --- self-documenting with respect to both what you
might do, and what you actually have done in the running system.
Environment variables are not; do you know exactly which strings in your
environment affect Postgres, or what other settings you might have made
but didn't?  Where would you go to find out?  (This is partly a failure
of documentation, no doubt, but the point about a config file is that it
offers an extremely obvious place to find out.)  Also, how could you
find out the actual configuration of a running server ... especially
if you are admining it remotely?  We have SHOW for GUC variables, and
nothing at all for environment variables.

Bottom line: we have an extremely nice configuration engine in place
already.  I really fail to understand why we want to ignore it and
emulate inferior pre-GUC approaches.

			regards, tom lane

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