Could certainly do that - a scalar function that returns reltuples from
pg_class. I was hoping to do 2 additional things:

i) provide better accuracy than the last ANALYZE
ii) make it behave like an aggregate

So I wanted to be able to use estimated_count as you would use count, i.e:

SELECT estimated_count() FROM rel

returns 1 row, whereas the scalar function :

SELECT estimated_count(rel) FROM rel

returns the result as many times as there are rows in rel - of course
you would use

SELECT estimated_count(rel)

but hopefully you see what I mean!

BTW, the scalar function is pretty simple to achieve - here is a basic
example that ignores schema qualifiers:

CREATE FUNCTION estimated_count(text) RETURNS real AS '
SELECT reltuples FROM pg_class WHERE relname = $1;
' LANGUAGE SQL;


cheers

Mark

Simon Riggs wrote:
Why not implement estimated_count as a dictionary lookup, directly using
the value recorded there by the analyze? That would be the easiest way
to reuse existing code and give you access to many previously calculated
values.

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