Taking advantage of the freeze bubble allowed us... there are some last
minute features to add.

Summarising earlier thoughts, with some detailed digging and design from
myself in last few days - we're now in a position to add Point-in-Time
Recovery, on top of whats been achieved.

The target for the last record to recover to can be specified in 2 ways:
- by transactionId - not that useful, unless you have a means of
identifying what has happened from the log, then using that info to
specify how to recover - coming later - not in next few days :(
- by time - but the time stamp on each xlog record only specifies to the
second, which could easily be 10 or more commits (we hope....)

Should we use a different datatype than time_t for the commit timestamp,
one that offers more fine grained differentiation between checkpoints?
If we did, would that be portable?
Suggestions welcome, because I know very little of the details of
various *nix systems and win* on that topic.

Only COMMIT and ABORT records have timestamps, allowing us to circumvent
any discussion about partial transaction recovery and nested

When we do recover, stopping at the timestamp is just half the battle.
We need to leave the xlog in which we stop in a state from which we can
enter production smoothly and cleanly. To do this, we could:
- when we stop, keep reading records until EOF, just don't apply them.
When we write a checkpoint at end of recovery, the unapplied
transactions are buried alive, never to return.
- stop where we stop, then force zeros to EOF, so that no possible
record remains of previous transactions.
I'm tempted by the first plan, because it is more straightforward and
stands much less chance of me introducing 50 wierd bugs just before

Also, I think it is straightforward to introduce control file duplexing,
with a second copy stored and maintained in the pg_xlog directory. This
would provide additional protection for pg_control, which takes on more
importance now that archive recovery is working. pg_xlog is a natural
home, since on busy systems it's on its own disk away from everything
else, ensuring that at least one copy survives. I can't see a downside
to that, but others might... We can introduce user specifiable
duplexing, in later releases.

For later, I envisage an off-line utility that can be used to inspect
xlog records. This could provide a number of features:
- validate archived xlogs, to check they are sound.
- produce summary reports, to allow identification of transactionIds and
the effects of particular transactions
- performance analysis to allow decisions to be made about whether group
commit features could be utilised to good effect
(Not now...)

Best regards, Simon Riggs

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