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Re: Overhauling GUCS

From: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
To: Greg Sabino Mullane <greg(at)turnstep(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Overhauling GUCS
Date: 2008-06-02 04:46:20
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
Greg Sabino Mullane wrote:
> Hash: RIPEMD160

> Joshua Drake wrote:
>> I kind of agree with this but actually think we should have the bare
>> minimum comments in the file. Why? Because our documentation links are
>> static. Each setting should have the URL to the full documentation on a
>> particular setting.
> Ugh, why so much context switching? Put the docs next to the setting. URLs
> are nice but not necessary. If you are arguing for minimum comments in
> conf files, please make a patch for pg_hba.conf ;)

Hah! Well I don't know that a minimum of comments is what I am arguing 
as much as not too much comments. The comments in general in the 
postgresql.conf are useless unless you have previous knowledge. I really 
think that if we take advantage of the fact that we have static URLs 
that life would be easier overall.

>>> * Create a tool, or at least a best practices, for controlling and tracking
>>> changes to the file.
>> This I disagree with. There are plenty of tools to handle this should
>> someone really want to. SVN, CVS, parrot, etc... Let systems management
>> be the domain of systems management.
> Well, perhaps just a note in the docs at least that one might want to put
> postgresql.conf in version control.

I could certainly buy into this. No reason we can't help people better 
administrators. I would suggest a link to a static wiki page (on that would link to each option?

> I've seen people not doing so more often
> than you would think. Perhaps because they are DBAs and not sysadmins? I also
> meant a tool to do things like verify that the changes are valid, as someone
> else mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

pg_ctl -D data check?

I would +1 that. Including (in later releases):

WARNING: You specify 66536 for shared buffers but you only have 131072 
of memory. Consider decreasing the parameter.

Obviously we would need more non math friendly wording.

>>> * It might be nice to mention other ways to reload the file, such as
>>> 'service postgresql reload', or whatever Windows uses.
>> I think a url to the docs is a better idea here.
> Good point. Maybe a sort of "DBA basics" page in the docs is warranted for
> things like this.

Yeah I could buy into this.

  >>> * Since the executable is now named "postgres" (thank goodness we got
>>> rid of "postmaster"), the file should be named 'postgres.conf'. This would
>>> also be a way to quickly distinguish 'old' vs 'new' style conf files if
>>> we end up making major changes to it.
>> It was never postmaster.conf (that I can recall). I don't see the issue
>> here. Consider apache... It isn't apache.conf.
> Not saying it ever was postmaster.conf: just that I'm glad we finally
> changed the name. As for the Apache project, the httpd executable reads the
> httpd.conf file. Hence, one might expect the postgres executable to read a
> postgres.conf file.

Maybe, but I think I would need more convincing.


Joshua D. Drake

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