Why chain of snapshots is used in ReorderBufferCommit?

From: Arseny Sher <a(dot)sher(at)postgrespro(dot)ru>
To: pgsql-hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Why chain of snapshots is used in ReorderBufferCommit?
Date: 2018-03-01 05:17:33
Message-ID: 87inagqsr6.fsf@ars-thinkpad
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While prowling through snapbuild & reorderbuffer code, I wondered: why a queue
of snapshots is used for replaying each transaction instead of just picking up
snapshot from snapbuilder once when COMMIT record is read? I am not aware of any
DDL/DML mix which would make this invalid: e.g. we can't insert something into
table in xact T1, then alter a column in xact T2, and then insert something more
in T1. All ALTER TABLE forms which are currently interesting from the decoding
POV obtain ACCESS EXCLUSIVE lock, conflicting with any other manipulations on the

To confirm this, I tried to use single snapshot (see attached patch) and make
check of test_decoding and src/test/recovery passed all the tests.

The only reason I can think of is the desire to allow replay of in-progress
transactions some day. However, presently we are far from there. Moreover, if we
pretend that the rule is to replay xact with exactly the same catalog snapshot
which was used during its execution (not including any later changes), then we
violate it anyway due to "choose the latest base_snapshot of all subxacts's as a
base_snapshot during replay" logic, which is somewhat weird. If xact doesn't
have base snapshot itself, but has two subxacts both having one, currently we
will use latest snapshot to start decoding of subxact which actually had earlier
snapshot. On the whole, what is the value of 'base_snapshot' concept, why first
snapshots aren't logged to the change queue as any subsequent ones?

Arseny Sher
Postgres Professional: http://www.postgrespro.com
The Russian Postgres Company

Attachment Content-Type Size
0001-Use-single-snapshot-for-replaying-transaction.patch text/x-diff 4.7 KB


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