My tour this week of the PostgreSQL West conference has taught me that you can deliver three talks in two days, or you can have fun seeing other people’s talks, but it’s rather difficult to do both. You can also find the slides from Hannu’s talk on Django/Python database calls, which unfortunately he was too ill to deliver in person.
Out of the limited number of other presentations I did see, the standout for me was Nathan Boley’s look at “Improving Planner Prediction Accuracy with Custom Selectivity Function”. I’m hoping to take Nathan’s new ideas for judging how close the PostgreSQL statistics match the underlying data and apply them to some difficult tables on a few client production systems.
I’d also highly recommend Bruce Momjian’s MVCC Unmasked as another talk filled with hard to learn ideas. I’m a bit amused that Bruce and I independently came up with examples demonstrating how UPDATE and DELETE work in PostgreSQL via looking at the xmin/xmax system columns, at basically the same time–him while prepping this talk, me while working on the MVCC section of my book. I left a note for myself then to add some examples of using pg_freespace to further explore here one day, and sure enough that’s exactly where Bruce’s presentation goes in its second half.