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Re: Major features for 9.1

From: "Kevin Grittner" <Kevin(dot)Grittner(at)wicourts(dot)gov>
To: "Josh Berkus" <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, "PostgreSQL Advocacy" <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Major features for 9.1
Date: 2011-04-01 20:53:19
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Lists: pgsql-advocacy
Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com> wrote:
> * Synchronous Replication
> Reason: obvious
Gotta mention this, based on constantly expressed interest.
> * wCTE: Writeable Common Table Expressions
> Reason: replace large amounts of app code with single queries.
> Also, we may be the first DB to have this.  Anyone know?
This is very cool, but I don't know how many people know enough
about CTEs to be impressed.
> * Per-column collations
> Reason: fully multilingual databases now possible.
> This has been a TODO for a decade.
Not big for me, but I'll bet in certain countries or application
types it is huge.
> * SSI: Serializable Snapshot Isolation
> True serializability without locking.  Eliminate a lot of SELECT
> FOR UPDATE code.
> This might also be a PostgreSQL first.
Obviously *I* think it's big.  Besides the on-list posts, I've
gotten quite a few off-list emails and comments at conferences which
make me think there are a lot of others interested.  Notice the
aggressive testing it got once it hit alpha.  I'm pretty sure I'd
have heard about it or run across it in web searches if anybody else
had beat us to this.  (I would say that "without blocking" would be
more technically accurate than "without locking".)
> * Unlogged Tables
> Reason: allows using Postgres for not-valuable, high-performance
> data like session tables instead of using a caching database
This will be very useful for our shop, but like CTEs, I don't know
how many people in the wider audience will be as impressed by this
as the other items.
> * SQL/MED with FILE_FDW	
> Reason: allows using PostgreSQL to query any kind of data source
> you can roll a driver for.  First one shipping reads CSV files,
> eliminating the need to COPY them into the database in many cases.
I have no idea how big the audience is for this one.
> * KNN-GiST: K-Nearest Neighbor Indexing
> Permits indexed searches of "what's near X", greatly improving the
> responsiveness of PostGIS applications and allowing new
> application types to be built.
This is very cool, although I don't think I'll have any use for it. 
The audience may be smaller than for other features.
> * Single-command cloning, new admin tools for replication
> Not sure about this one, should probably be buried in text
> somewhere.
Agree on including in text but not major feature point.
> * PL/Python Overhaul
> Not sure what went into this, can anyone give me details?
As valuable as this is, an overhaul doesn't sound like a major
feature, on the face of it.
> * SEPostgres
> SE-Postgres has been integrated into PostgreSQL through generic
> security hooks and a contrib module.  Allows "military" level
> security/control over database.
Clearly there is a lot of interest in certain quarters.  My concern
on pushing it as a major feature is that, given the nature of the
community which needs this, I suspect that those who really care
already know it's coming in 9.1, and those who don't already know
won't care so much.  (I could be wrong about that, though.)
> * Extensions
> Optional PostgreSQL code, such as extra data types, GIS,
> languages, etc, can now be packaged as pluggable extensions,
> greatly simplifying installing and upgrading them.  In addition,
> the PGXN network will become an online repository of these
> extensions.
That's big.

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Subject: Theme for release
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