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Re: [HACKERS] Re: NOT {NULL|DEFERRABLE} (was: bug in 7.0)

From: Don Baccus <dhogaza(at)pacifier(dot)com>
To: Thomas Lockhart <lockhart(at)alumni(dot)caltech(dot)edu>
Cc: Jan Wieck <wieck(at)debis(dot)com>, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Re: NOT {NULL|DEFERRABLE} (was: bug in 7.0)
Date: 2000-02-29 17:33:33
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
At 04:39 PM 2/29/00 +0000, Thomas Lockhart wrote:
>> >I did not claim to have the final form; I ran out of time before
>> >heading out on vacation.
>> In retrospect, it shouldn't've gone into the beta at that point,
>> then.  Crippling "unique not null" isn't merely an inconvenience.
>> Dropping a bomb like this into beta the night before release
>> and leaving town for nine days perhaps wasn't the best thing to
>> do.   Perhaps we should avoid doing things like this in the future.
>Lighten up Don! I put this in so Jan et al can get cracking on the
>referential integrity stuff in the column specification, and imho the
>feature and space of possible solutions is isolated and finite. Not a
>big risk for the first part of beta.

No, I won't lighten up.  I said "in retrospect", and I used those
words intentionally to suggest that IN THE FUTURE we might take
more care.  What's the harm in learning from experience?

An alternative might be to remove the following sentence from the
release notes:

"Don't be concerned this is a dot-zero release. PostgreSQL does its
best to put out only solid releases, and this one is no exception."

>> What's wrong with actually accepting the SQL92 grammar, anyway?
>?? That is what we are trying to do.

Your unrolling technique doesn't and can't accept the SQL92 grammar.
That should be obvious.  You don't seriously intend to enumerate
all possible combinations of constraints and constraint attributes,
do you?  It's the wrong way to go about it.

>I'm not sure what your point is about "having to ship 6.5 instead of
>7.0" for your porting project. If you aren't willing to cope with
>small changes/features/breakage in a beta cycle you should stay away
>from betas.

This is NOT a small change/breakage.  I'm astonished that that the
removal of "unique not null" and "not null unique" would be considered
"small".   Of course, other perfectly legal and previously accepted
constraints are rejected, too.

>There is *no* reason you should think that the restriction on syntax
>in this area is a permanent feature or something that will persist
>through beta. If you are on such a tight schedule that you can't cope
>with a 2 week slip in a feature, or a 2 week breakage from your PoV,
>then beta isn't for you!!

In MHO delaying beta would've been better if a better solution couldn't
be lashed in, because this is a serious breakage. 

Or, make more modest claims about the stability of betas.  If release
notes and publicity made it clear that PG betas aren't expected to be
production, or near-production, quality then people like me wouldn't
hold this expectation.

>otoh, if you are planning on shipping after the 7.0 release, then
>there isn't a problem. And if you need a system which has *exactly*
>the behaviors of a couple of weeks ago, then use a snapshot from a
>couple of weeks ago. I'll prep and send you one if you would like.

I've got my own from three days before beta, thank you.

- Don Baccus, Portland OR <dhogaza(at)pacifier(dot)com>
  Nature photos, on-line guides, Pacific Northwest
  Rare Bird Alert Service and other goodies at

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Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Re: NOT {NULL|DEFERRABLE} (was: bug in 7.0)
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