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single bit integer (TINYINT) revisited for 8.5

From: Caleb Cushing <xenoterracide(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: single bit integer (TINYINT) revisited for 8.5
Date: 2009-07-01 15:19:48
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
I'd like to see this topic revisited since as far as I can see it
hasn't been seriously discussed in years. I believe the main arguments
against are why do we need more more numeric datatypes and increased
maintenance. It would seem to me that a tinyint datatype maintenance
wise would get all the same updates as the other int types, making it
only a slight increase in maintenance. I think there was 1 more reason
but I can't find the original thread now.

most (if not all?) of posgresql's major competitor's (mysql, sql
server, db2, etc) support a single bit integer datatype. it would
bring increased compatibility with existing mysql apps esp, making
them easier to port.

It (in theory?) should also bring a speed enhancement where usable
since it would take less disk space.

A couple of times I've been told "you don't need tinyint, use boolean"
which is not true, several projects I've worked on I've needed and
integer field that supports number within a small range 0-5 1-10 1-100
or something similar. I end up using smallint but it's range is huge
for the actual requirements.
Caleb Cushing


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