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Re: psql: bogus descriptions displayed by \d+

From: "Kevin Grittner" <Kevin(dot)Grittner(at)wicourts(dot)gov>
To: "Robert Haas" <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>, "Peter Eisentraut" <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>
Cc: "Josh Kupershmidt" <schmiddy(at)gmail(dot)com>, "pgsql-hackers" <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>, "Tom Lane" <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Subject: Re: psql: bogus descriptions displayed by \d+
Date: 2011-07-28 15:31:57
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com> wrote:
> Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net> wrote:
>> I would like to argue for reverting this.  If you want to
>> word-smith details like this, "relation" doesn't carry any
>> additional meaning.  PG hackers know that internally, a
>> "relation" is a table, view, index, sequence, etc., but for the
>> user, it doesn't mean anything.
> Well, I don't think we're going to do very well trying to get by
> without a generic term of some sort.  Calling it a table is more
> confusing, because the user might easily be forgiven for thinking
> that he knows what the word "table" means and reading no further. 
> If you say relation, then either (a) the user knows what that
> means, or (b) he'll read the text and find out.  I am not very
> excited about the idea of documenting "table_name" as "either a
> table name, or the name of some kind of object that isn't a
> table"; I think that's just weird.
+1 on that whole paragraph.
"relation" has been a "term of art" since 1969.  A table is a type
of relation variable.  I don't think it makes sense to invent new
terminology, although there's nothing wrong with the docs explaining
terms which might not be familiar to all readers.  Of course, we
don't want to come off as overly pedantic with our use of
terminology, but this one is pretty basic and commonly used.

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