January 22, 2005


I took about a month off work. I was in Perth for about two weeks to celebrate Christmas with my aunt’s family, and then in Cairns for about 10 days, doing some scuba diving with a friend who was over from Canada.


Started back at work last Monday. 8.0.0 got released, which is great — this release has a ton of new functionality that I’m really happy about.

The tree is now open for 8.1 work, so I got a chance to check in some stuff that’s been sitting on my hard drive for a while. Sped up rtree scan performance by about 10%; I have similar patches for GiST which I’ll commit soon. The GiST stuff also overhauls memory management: GiST user-provided functions will now always be invoked in a short-lived memory context, so people implementing GiST-based indexes won’t need to worry about freeing palloc’ed memory. One of the lessons of working on the PG source: region-based memory allocation is a Good Thing.

While cleaning up various things in PL/PgSQL (mostly memory management related), I noticed a buffer overrun in the parsing of refcursors. Patched that for 7.4 and 8.0.

I took a look at adding support for GCC’s profile-guided optimization to the build system. I’m a little confused — why don’t more projects take advantage of this? Particularly when, say, building RPM packages, it would make sense to trade some extra compile-time for a few % improvement in runtime performance. On the other hand, I ran into some problems actually using the PGO support (e.g. this), so perhaps that’s one reason PGO support hasn’t (AFAICS) taken off.

robocoder: Thanks for mentioning the pending patent on ARC. Unfortunately, that came as quite a surprise. I passed on the bad news to the pgsql-hackers list, which started a spirited discussion of the topic. I’m not sure what the resolution to the problem is going to be; personally I think we ought to replace ARC with a simple LRU scheme in 8.0.1, and worry about a better, unencumbered replacement for 8.1. But in any case I’m glad we found out about the problem sooner rather than later.


Just started reading Paul Graham’s Hackers and Painters, but I’m really enjoying it so far. I also have Conrad Black’s biography of FDR to start (1300 pages, yum).


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