Questions have arisen during discussions about errors relating
to how to support error codes without changing the FE/BE
protocols. (see TODO.detail/error)

Now that the protocol is up for revision, how about supporting
sql state strings, error codes, and other information directly in
the protocol.


Neil Conway wrote:
There has been some previous discussion of changing the FE/BE protocol
in 7.4, in order to fix several problems. I think this is worth doing:
if we can resolve all these issues in a single release, it will lessen
the upgrade difficulties for users.

I'm aware of the following problems that need a protocol change to fix

(1) Add an optional textual message to NOTIFY

(2) Remove the hard-coded limits on database and user names
(SM_USER, SM_DATABASE), replace them with variable-length

(3) Remove some legacy elements in the startup packet
('unused' can go -- perhaps 'tty' as well). I think the
'length' field of the password packet is also not used,
but I'll need to double-check that.

(4) Fix the COPY protocol (Tom?)

(5) Fix the Fastpath protocol (Tom?)

(6) Protocol-level support for prepared queries, in order to
bypass the parser (and maybe be more compatible with the
implementation of prepared queries in other databases).

(7) Include the current transaction status, since it's
difficult for the client app to determine it for certain

If I've missed anything or if there is something you think we should
add, please let me know.

I can implement (1), (2), (3), and possibly (7), if someone can tell
me exactly what is required (my memory of the discussion relating to
this is fuzzy). The rest is up for grabs.

Finally, how should we manage the transition? I wasn't around for the
earlier protocol changes, so I'd appreciate any input on steps we can
take to improve backward-compatibility.



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