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Re: [PATCHES] Friendly help for psql

From: "Greg Sabino Mullane" <greg(at)turnstep(dot)com>
To: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Cc: pgsql-patches(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [PATCHES] Friendly help for psql
Date: 2008-01-28 19:55:22
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Lists: pgsql-hackerspgsql-patches
Hash: RIPEMD160

> Uh, imagine:
>       test=> SELECT * from pg_class
>       test-> help
> Technically 'help' is now an alias for 'pg_class'.  Are you suggesting
> supporting 'help' in this usage?  People were saying they forget
> semicolons, so this 'help' usage is quite possible.  We don't want to
> hear "Why doesn't 'help' work sometimes?"

I don't think we have to worry about supporting that case. We only
support it when the command begins with "help". No ambiguity with
SQL to worry about. Don't forget that ctrl-c resets a query as well, so
the above situation is not as dire as it may appear to the uninitiated

> Supporting 'help' in psql seems like a very slippery slope.  We are very
> tight in defining when an entry is psql and when it is SQL and this
> weakens that.

Does not seem slippery to me, seems a simple, one-time fix that replaces
a syntax error with a helpful message. As the instigator of this discussion,
I can assure you I have no plans for anything other than "help". It's simple,
standard, and points you to anything else you may need or want to do.

> What would be interesting would be if the _server_ could send back some
> message about "Use the help facility of your client application" but it
> would have to have a trailing semicolon;  unlikely.  :-(

Now THAT would be a bad mangling of SQL and non-SQL. We'll pretend you
didn't suggest that one. :)

- --
Greg Sabino Mullane greg(at)turnstep(dot)com
PGP Key: 0x14964AC8 200801281451


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