Re: [PATCH] Transaction traceability - txid_status(bigint)

From: Craig Ringer <craig(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, Petr Jelinek <petr(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, PostgreSQL Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>, Andres Freund <andres(at)anarazel(dot)de>, Jim Nasby <Jim(dot)Nasby(at)bluetreble(dot)com>, Álvaro Herrera <alvaro(dot)herrera(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Transaction traceability - txid_status(bigint)
Date: 2017-03-23 03:25:07
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On 23 March 2017 at 01:41, Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 3:13 AM, Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com> wrote:
>>> Changes made per discussion.
>> This looks good to me also. Does what we need it to do.
>> I was a little worried by possible performance of new lock, but its
>> not intended to be run frequently, so its OK.
> Agreed.
> Reviewing 0002:
> + if (!TransactionIdIsValid(xid))
> + {
> + LWLockRelease(XidGenLock);
> + ereport(ERROR,
> + errmsg("transaction ID " UINT64_FORMAT " is an invalid xid",
> + xid_with_epoch)));
> + }
> It's unnecessary to release LWLockRelease() before throwing an error,
> and it's also wrong because we haven't acquired XidGenLock in this
> code path. But maybe it would be better to just remove this entirely
> and instead have TransactionIdInRecentPast return false for
> InvalidTransactionId. Then we'd avoid adding a translatable message
> for a case that is basically harmless to allow.

Agreed, that's better.

> + if (TransactionIdIsCurrentTransactionId(xid))
> + status = gettext_noop("in progress");
> + else if (TransactionIdDidCommit(xid))
> + status = gettext_noop("committed");
> + else if (TransactionIdDidAbort(xid))
> + status = gettext_noop("aborted");
> + else
> +
> + /*
> + * can't test TransactionIdIsInProgress here or we race with
> + * concurrent commit/abort. There's no point anyway, since it
> + * might then commit/abort just after we check.
> + */
> + status = gettext_noop("in progress");
> I am not sure this is going to do the right thing for transactions
> that are aborted by a crash without managing to write an abort record.

You're right. It'll report in-progress, since the clog entry will
still be 0. We don't appear to explicitly update the clog during

Funny, I got so focused on the clog access safety stuff in the end
that I missed the bigger picture.

Given that part of the point of this is xact status after crash,
that's kind of important. I've added a TAP test for this, as part of a
new test set, "". The recovery tests don't really
have much on crash behaviour at the moment so might as well start it
and add more as we go. It doesn't make sense to add a whole new top
level TAP test just for txid_status.

(I *love* the TAP framework now, it took 10 mins to write a test
that's trivial to repeat in 5 seconds per run for this).

> It seems that the first check will say the transaction isn't in
> progress, and the second and third checks will say it isn't either
> committed or aborted since, if I am reading this correctly, they just
> read clog directly.

Right. They're not concerned with subxacts or multixacts.

> Compare HeapTupleSatisfiesMVCC, which assumes
> that a not-in-progress, not-committed transaction must necessarily
> have aborted.


We don't have a HeapTuple here, of course, so we can't test flags.
Most importantly this means we can't handle multixacts. If we ever did
decide to expose multixacts as bigint epoch-qualified xids for general
users, we'd probably reserve the high bit of the epoch the bigint xid
representation for the equivalent of HEAP_XMAX_IS_MULTI, and maybe
it's worth reserving that bit now and ERROR'ing if we find it set. But
right now we never produce a bigint xid with a multixact.

I wonder if a note in the docs warning not to cast xid to bigint is
worth it. Probably not. You have to cast xid::text::bigint which is
kind of a hint, plus it doesn't make sense to test txid_status() for
tuples' xmin/xmax . I guess you might use it with xids from
pg_stat_activity, but there's not much point when you can just look at
pg_stat_activity again to see if the proc of interest is still there
and has the same xid.


> I think your comment is pointing to a real issue,
> though. It seems like what might be needed is to add one more check.
> Before where you have the "else" clause, check if the XID is old, e.g.
> precedes our snapshot's xmin. If so, it must be committed or aborted
> and, since it didn't commit, it aborted. If not, it must've changed
> from in progress to not-in-progress just as we were in the midst
> checking, so labeling it as in progress is fine.

That seems clear and sensible.

XidInMVCCSnapshot simply tests TransactionIdPrecedes(xid,
snapshot->xmin), as does HeapTupleSatisfiesHistoricMVCC . It seems
reasonable enough to just examine the snapshot xmin directly in
txid_status too; it's already done in replication/logical/snapbuild.c
and lmgr/predicate.c.

We're running in an SQL-called function so we'll have a good snapshot
and GetSnapshotData will have run, so GetActiveSnapshot()->xmin should
be sufficient.

Amended patch attached, with added TAP test included.

Craig Ringer
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Training & Services

Attachment Content-Type Size
0001-Introduce-txid_status-bigint-to-get-status-of-an-xac.patch text/x-patch 13.1 KB

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