Tuesday, October 04, 2011

CommitFest In Progress

I've seen a lot of articles lately about the great new features (and removed limitations) in PostgreSQL 9.1.  Unless you're a regular reader of pgsql-hackers, you could almost forget about the fact that PostgreSQL 9.2 development is in full swing.  In fact, there's a CommitFest going on right now and we could use a few more reviewers.

Many of the features that were submitted to this CommitFest are small improvements - minor fine-tuning of existing features, like generating better column names for subquery expressions, or fixing things so that LIKE can more reliably make use of indexes when non-English characters are involved.  But some of the big features that will hopefully become part of PostgreSQL 9.2 are also beginning to materialize.

Jeff Davis has updated his patch for range types, which I had thought at one point might make it into PostgreSQL 9.1, but it turned out not to be far enough along for that.  We've had a number of design discussions since then, so hopefully we'll get this into PostgreSQL 9.2.   Jeff has blogged about his vision for handling temporal data in PostgreSQL, and it's pretty cool stuff.  As anyone who has ever tried to build a calendaring or scheduling app within PostgreSQL knows, these are real problems.

Ibrar Ahmed and I have pulled together a patch for index-only scans (see previous posts and the PostgreSQL wiki page).  Like Jeff's patch, it's currently short a reviewer.

In the department of important-but-not-glamorous, Simon Riggs is working on a patch to separate the background writing and checkpoint functionality of PostgreSQL into two separate processes.  This one also needs a reviewer.  Although the background writer has been significantly improved over the years, particularly in 8.3, it's still got some warts, and one of those warts is that when it gets busy finishing a checkpoint, the background writes don't happen regularly.  This isn't good for performance, and it makes it hard to give the background writer additional duties, or indeed make any changes at all, considering the complexity of the current code.  So I'm pretty happy to see this work getting done.

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