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Re: Overhauling GUCS

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Greg Smith <gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com>
Cc: Andreas Pflug <pgadmin(at)pse-consulting(dot)de>, Decibel! <decibel(at)decibel(dot)org>, Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org, Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
Subject: Re: Overhauling GUCS
Date: 2008-06-04 20:57:32
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Greg Smith <gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com> writes:
> On Wed, 4 Jun 2008, Andreas Pflug wrote:
>> IMHO the best compromise in machine and human readability is an XML format.

> If the primary PostgreSQL configuration file becomes XML I will quit 
> working with the project.  I'm not kidding.

I have no particular use for XML in this scenario either, but really
this thread seems to be arguing about mostly-irrelevant details.  There
is not anything fundamentally broken about keeping configuration in a
text file, as is proven by the fact that all those other packages do it.

The real problem we need to solve is how to allow newbies to have the
system auto-configured to something that more or less solves their
problems.  Putting the config settings in XML does not accomplish that,
and neither does putting them inside the database.  It might knock a
day or two off the time needed to develop a tool that actually does
solve the newbie's problem ... but it's unlikely that the effort of
changing Postgres to use some other configuration representation would
get repaid through easier tool development.

So I think we should stop worrying about the file format and think about
these two problems:

* Can we present the config options in a more helpful way (this is 99%
a documentation problem, not a code problem)?

* Can we build a "configuration wizard" to tell newbies what settings
they need to tweak?

			regards, tom lane

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