The PostgreSQL community is currently debating a potential shift from the current process-based design of the database to a more modern, threaded design. While some members of the community believe this would provide benefits such as increased performance and better resource utilization, others like Tom Lane are concerned about the potential for disaster.
Lane warns that there is far too much code that would get broken, largely silently, and much of it is not under their control. He cites the cautionary tale of PHP 6, which led to years of wasted time and stagnation for the language. Lane’s concerns are echoed by other members of the community who worry that the shift to a threaded design would require rewriting much of the code base, which would take extensive time and resources.
However, there are also members who support the shift, believing that the benefits will outweigh the costs. They argue that the current process-based design is outdated and that a threaded approach would provide better performance and scalability.
While acknowledging the potential benefits of a threaded design, others caution against the risks. They suggest that rewriting code should only be done when the cost of adding a new feature to the old code is comparable to the cost of designing the system from scratch to accommodate the feature.
In any case, it is clear that this potential shift requires careful consideration. While a threaded approach could bring benefits, it could also lead to extensive rewriting and may not be worth the cost. As with any major technology decision, it is important to weigh the potential risks and benefits and proceed with caution.
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Author Eliza Ng