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Re: REVIEW proposal: a validator for configuration files

From: Alexey Klyukin <alexk(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
To: Andy Colson <andy(at)squeakycode(dot)net>
Cc: Pg Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: REVIEW proposal: a validator for configuration files
Date: 2011-09-10 16:39:21
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Hi Andy,

On Sep 7, 2011, at 6:40 AM, Andy Colson wrote:

> Hi Alexey, I was taking a quick look at this patch, and have a question for ya.

> Where did the other warnings go?  Its right though, line 570 is bad.  It also seems to have killed the server.  I have not gotten through the history of messages regarding this patch, but is it supposed to kill the server if there is a syntax error in the config file?

Thank you for looking at this patch. v4 was more a "what if" concept that took a lot of time for somebody to look at. There were a lot of problems with it, but I think I've nailed down most of them.

Attached is v5. It should fix both problems you've experienced with v4. As with the current code, the startup process gets interrupted on any error detected in the configuration file. Unlike the current code, the patch tries to report all of them before bailing out. The behavior during configuration reload has changed significantly. Instead of ignoring all changes after the first error, the code  reports the problematic value and continues. It only skips applying new values completely on syntax errors and invalid configuration option names. In no cases  should it bring the server down during reload.

One problem I'm not sure how to address is the fact that we require 2 calls of set_config_option for each option, one to verify the new value and another to actually apply it. Normally, this function returns true for a valid value and false if it is unable to set the new value for whatever reason (either the value is invalid, or the value cannot be changed in the context of the caller). However, calling it once per value in the 'apply' mode during reload produces false for every unchanged value that can only be changed during startup (i.e. shared_buffers, or max_connections). If we ignore its return value, we'll lose the ability to detect whether invalid values were encountered during the reload and report this fact at the end of the function. I think the function should be changed, as described in my previous email ( and I'd like to hear other opinions on that. Meanwhile, due to 2 calls to set_config_option, it currently reports all invalid values twice. If others will be opposed to changing the set_config_option, I'll fix this by removing the first, verification call and final 'errors were detected' warning to avoid 'false positives' on that (i.e. the WARNING you saw with the previous version for the valid .conf).

I'd appreciate your further comments and suggestions.

Thank you.

Alexey Klyukin
The PostgreSQL Company – Command Prompt, Inc.

Attachment: pg_parser_continue_on_error_v5.diff
Description: application/octet-stream (18.5 KB)

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