FAQ

On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 11:23 AM, Leon Smith wrote:
A minor issue has come up in creating low-level bindings to libpq for
safe garbage-collected languages,  namely that PQfinish is the only
(AFAICT) way to close a connection but also de-allocates the memory
used to represent the database connection.    It would be preferable
to call PQfinish to free the memory in a finalizer,  but appilcations
need a way to disconnect from the database at a predictable and
deterministic point in time,  whereas leaving a bit of memory around
until the GC finally gets to it is relatively harmless.    The
low-level binding has a couple of options:

1.  Ignore the issue and allow for the possibility of a segfault if
the library is used incorrectly,  which is not a good situation for
"safe" languages.
The 'safety' of the language has nothing to do with it. It should
possible to maintain state outside of libpq without crashing. Which
language by the way?
2.  Create a wrapper that tracks whether or not PQfinish has ever been
called,  so that attempts to use a connection afterwards can be turned
into native exceptions/other forms of error signaling.  This kind of
solution can introduce their own minor issues.
This is probably your answer.
3.  Hack libpq to export closePGconn so that libpq can safely signal
the low-level bindings of the error when a connection is used after it
is disconnected,  reserving PQfinish to run in a GC-triggered
finalizer.  While this is a technically preferable solution,  without
getting the change into upstream sources it is also a deployment
nightmare.
This is not going to be as helpful as you think -- in many cases the
connection will not go 'bad' until you attempt to use...libpq runs in
thread and does no management when you are not inside a libpq call.
Your hypothetical callback would only get fired when you are making a
libpq call anyways and you haven't made a case why you can't just wrap
the query call with a a post call check to connection status.

merlin

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postedMay 14, '11 at 3:23p
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