Experienced PostgreSQL users and developers rattle off the terms “MVCC” and “VACUUM” as if everyone should know what they are and how they work, but in fact many people don’t. This blog post is my attempt to explain what MVCC is and why PostgreSQL uses it, what VACUUM is and how it works, and why we need VACUUM to implement MVCC. In addition, I’ll include a few useful links for further reading for those who may want to know more.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Since I just committed the last pending patch to improve hash indexes to PostgreSQL 11, and since most of the improvements to hash indexes were committed to PostgreSQL 10 which is expected to be released next week, it seems like a good time for a brief review of all the work that has been done over the last 18 months or so. Prior to version 10, hash indexes didn't perform well under concurrency, lacked write-ahead logging and thus were not safe in the face either of crashes or of replication, and were in various other ways second-class citizens. In PostgreSQL 10, this is largely fixed.
Monday, August 14, 2017
The reaction to the new table partitioning feature in PostgreSQL 10 has been overwhelmingly positive, but a number of people have already astutely observed that there is plenty of room for improvement. PostgreSQL 10, already at beta3, will go GA some time in the next month or two, and presumably once it does, more people will try out the new feature and find things they would like to see improved. The good news is that there is already a substantial list of people, many of them my colleagues at EnterpriseDB, working on various improvements. The following list of projects is complete to my knowledge, but of course there may be projects of which I'm unaware especially at companies where I don't work. If you're working on something else, please leave a comment about it!
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
In a talk which I gave at PGCONF.IN and, in a shorter version, at PGCONF.US, I had a few slides on who contributes to PostgreSQL development. Here, I'd like to present a slightly expanded version of the information which was in the talk. The information in this post considers calendar year 2016 and comes from two sources.
Saturday, April 08, 2017
The list of new features coming in PostgreSQL 10 is extremely impressive. I've been involved in the PostgreSQL project since the 8.4 release cycle (2008-2009), and I've never seen anything like this. Many people have already blogged about these features elsewhere; my purpose here is just to bring together a list of the features that, in my opinion, are the biggest new things that we can expect to see in PostgreSQL 10. [Disclaimers: (1) Other people may have different opinions. (2) It is not impossible that some patches could be reverted prior to release. (3) The list below represents the work of the entire PostgreSQL community, not specifically me or EnterpriseDB, and I have no intention of taking credit for anyone else's work.]
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
A recent Twitter poll asked What is your favorite upcoming feature of PostgreSQL V10? In this admittedly unscientific survey, "better parallelism" (37%) beat out "logical replication" (32%) and "native partitioning" (31%). I think it's fruitless to argue about which of those features is actually most important; the real point is that all of those are amazing features, and PostgreSQL 10 is on track to be an amazing release. There are a number of already-committed or likely-to-be-committed features which in any other release would qualify as headline features, but in this release they'll have to fight it out with the ones mentioned above.