14 Aug 2005 alvherre   » (Master)

Past

Another development cycle has come and go. Looking back, I see that I did manage to get some new things, but certainly not as much as I'd like. If I wasn't distracted so easily this release would be better ;-) Looking back a little, here is what I achieved for PostgreSQL 8.1:

  • Shared row locking. I wrote about this one a couple of times before.

  • Shared dependency tracking. This patch was committed at last minute, because it conflicted hard with the roles patch. I managed to get it in however. For readers not in the know, this new functionality ensures that the system refuses to drop any user that owns objects (tables, functions, etc) in some database, or that has permissions (grants) on some objects. This is not a big feature but it means the database is always in a consistent state.

  • Integrated autovacuum. Yes, we now have an integrated autovacuum daemon in the backend. It's far more powerful than the contrib daemon: the various parameters can be set per-table, and it can be disabled per-table too if needed.

Present

The EnterpriseDB guys published a press release stating that they have hired me and a couple of other guys. Truth is, I've been working on their account for a couple months already. It's cool because they let me contribute my work back to the community; in fact, the idea is that my work would be 50% closed and 50% community, though I haven't seen the closed part yet. I'm OK with the split, because I was already doing closed software before, so in no way it's worse than before, but I'd like the closed part to be as small as possible. We'll see how it all turns out.

Future

So what now? I have some plans, and EDB has plans for me:

  1. Shared dependencies still have to go some way. I need to implement a way to facilitate dropping users, because currently you have to drop or give away the objects manually. My proposal is to implement a couple of commands, DROP OWNED BY and REASSIGN OWNED BY.

  2. Autovacuum needs further improvements, such as working without row-level stats. Also, I'd like the ability to track Xid wraparound per-table, so we don't force a database-wide vacuum on anybody.

  3. I want to start working on the optimizer and executor code, just to know how does it work and maybe to do something interesting on the long run. My plan for the first step is to add some more specific optimization to BETWEEN. I had an idea for a second step, but I don't remember right now what it was and I don't have my notes handy. The final grand plan was to implement recursive SQL queries, but I'm a long way from that, so maybe someone will beat me to it.

  4. Slony-II. EDB wants me to lay my hands on Spread, or whatever group communication suit Slony-II ends up using. My first step is to develop some sort of test harness for Spread. I'm still not sure how to do it. I still have some research to do on the subject.

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