Win32 users?

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Win32 users?

Joe-8-2
I see there's a pgsql-cygwin list and a pgsql-hackers-win32 list, but no
pgsql-win32 list.  I browsed through the pgsql-novice and pgsql-general archives
and only saw a few Windows-related posts.  Which of those two lists is most
appropriate for asking newbie-type questions about the Windows port, e.g., PATH
settings and installation?

Joe

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Re: Win32 users?

Richard Huxton
Joe wrote:
> I see there's a pgsql-cygwin list and a pgsql-hackers-win32 list, but no
> pgsql-win32 list.  I browsed through the pgsql-novice and pgsql-general
> archives and only saw a few Windows-related posts.  Which of those two
> lists is most appropriate for asking newbie-type questions about the
> Windows port, e.g., PATH settings and installation?

Either would be fine.

--
   Richard Huxton
   Archonet Ltd

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Re: Win32 users?

Tom Lane-2
In reply to this post by Joe-8-2
Joe <[hidden email]> writes:
> I see there's a pgsql-cygwin list and a pgsql-hackers-win32 list, but
> no pgsql-win32 list.  I browsed through the pgsql-novice and
> pgsql-general archives and only saw a few Windows-related posts.
> Which of those two lists is most appropriate for asking newbie-type
> questions about the Windows port, e.g., PATH settings and
> installation?

I would suggest pgsql-cygwin if you are using a cygwin-based Postgres
(7.4 or below) but pgsql-hackers-win32 if you are using the new native
Windows port (8.0 and up).

                        regards, tom lane

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Re: Win32 users?

Joe-8-2
Tom Lane wrote:

> Joe <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>>I see there's a pgsql-cygwin list and a pgsql-hackers-win32 list, but
>>no pgsql-win32 list.  I browsed through the pgsql-novice and
>>pgsql-general archives and only saw a few Windows-related posts.
>>Which of those two lists is most appropriate for asking newbie-type
>>questions about the Windows port, e.g., PATH settings and
>>installation?
>
> I would suggest pgsql-cygwin if you are using a cygwin-based Postgres
> (7.4 or below) but pgsql-hackers-win32 if you are using the new native
> Windows port (8.0 and up).

Hi Tom,

I guess I wasn't clear enough.  Currently, I'm about to use the native Win32
port.  I suspect pgsql-hackers-win32 subscribers won't appreciate newbie-type
questions.  Specifically, I installed 8.0.3 with the installer.  Then I opened a
command prompt window, typed 'createdb mydb' as per the tutorial (section 1.3)
and got 'unrecognized internal or external command'.  I presume I need to add
the Postgres bin directory to my PATH, but I couldn't find a reference to this
in the manual or in the native Windows FAQ.  Bruce Momjiam thought that the
pginstaller took care of this already, so I'm going to reinstall (and pay
attention this time :-), but if someone can point me to the instructions I'd
appreciate it.

Joe

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Re: Win32 users?

Andreas-3-2
Joe schrieb:

> I guess I wasn't clear enough.  Currently, I'm about to use the native
> Win32 port.  I suspect pgsql-hackers-win32 subscribers won't
> appreciate newbie-type questions.  Specifically, I installed 8.0.3
> with the installer.  Then I opened a command prompt window, typed
> 'createdb mydb' as per the tutorial (section 1.3) and got
> 'unrecognized internal or external command'.

Which makes it a Windows problem, I'd say.   ;)

> I presume I need to add the Postgres bin directory to my PATH, but I
> couldn't find a reference to this in the manual or in the native
> Windows FAQ.  

You can allways use the complete path to the psql command, but obviously
this'd suck.

> Bruce Momjiam thought that the pginstaller took care of this already,
> so I'm going to reinstall (and pay attention this time :-), but if
> someone can point me to the instructions I'd appreciate it.

No, the installer doesn't ... as far as I know.
I'd say it's better that it doesn't. I prefer messing up my system
variables my self. :D


So dere's what I did.
1)  Figure out where your Postgres binaries ended up.
      Probaply in C:\Programs\PostgreSQL\8.0\bin
2)   Right-click on the PC-icon on your desktop. It's called "my
workplace" or something. Sorry, I have no English version.
3)   Click on settings
4)    Extended
5)    The middle button is for the environment-variables
6)   In the lower listbox "systemvariables" you should find "path"
7)   select it and click the edit button
8)   Append the Postgres-directory to the PATH-string   ...bla...bla...
;C:\Programs\PostgreSQL\8.0\bin
      seperated by a   ;
9)   click OK and OK again

The CMDs should have the extended path from now on.
At least when you log out and in again. No reboot necesary.

This goes for windows 2000.
I have a faint idea that Win XP has no such PC-icon right on the desktop
anymore but it's somewhere in the start-menue.


BTW a cygwin user hadn't had this issue because he'd have put the
cygwin-path there as it's mentioned in the cygwin readme.




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automating backup ?

Zlatko Matic
How to automate backup, so that Postgres automatically backups, for example,
once in a week ?
The same question about vacuum ?

Concerning backup, how to prevent that someone makes a copy (for example
pg_dumpall) of a database, then installs new instance of Postgres, create
the same user acount that was the original owner and then restore the
database. In that case all restrictions would be overriden, right ?


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Re: automating backup ?

Michael Fuhr
On Sun, Jun 26, 2005 at 11:18:31AM +0200, Zlatko Matic wrote:
>
> How to automate backup, so that Postgres automatically backups, for
> example, once in a week ?

Using the operating system's mechanism for scheduling jobs to run
periodically.  For example, cron on Unix-like systems.

> The same question about vacuum ?

Same answer as above.  See also contrib/pg_autovacuum.

> Concerning backup, how to prevent that someone makes a copy (for example
> pg_dumpall) of a database, then installs new instance of Postgres, create
> the same user acount that was the original owner and then restore the
> database. In that case all restrictions would be overriden, right ?

All what restrictions?  If you've granted users permission to select
certain data, then they can copy that data to somewhere else and
do whatever they like with it; but with the original data they can
do only what you grant them permission to do.  If you don't want
users to copy data then don't grant them select privilege on it,
and make sure they don't have database superuser or operating system
superuser (administrator) privileges on the database server.

--
Michael Fuhr
http://www.fuhr.org/~mfuhr/

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Re: automating backup ?

Michael Fuhr
On Sun, Jun 26, 2005 at 06:59:14AM -0600, Michael Fuhr wrote:
> On Sun, Jun 26, 2005 at 11:18:31AM +0200, Zlatko Matic wrote:
> >
> > How to automate backup, so that Postgres automatically backups, for
> > example, once in a week ?
>
> Using the operating system's mechanism for scheduling jobs to run
> periodically.  For example, cron on Unix-like systems.

...or perhaps a replication solution like Slony-I or Mammoth, if
they meet your requirements.

--
Michael Fuhr
http://www.fuhr.org/~mfuhr/

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Re: Win32 users?

Joe-8-2
In reply to this post by Andreas-3-2
Andreas wrote:

> So dere's what I did.
> 1)  Figure out where your Postgres binaries ended up.
>      Probaply in C:\Programs\PostgreSQL\8.0\bin
> 2)   Right-click on the PC-icon on your desktop. It's called "my
> workplace" or something. Sorry, I have no English version.
> 3)   Click on settings
> 4)    Extended
> 5)    The middle button is for the environment-variables
> 6)   In the lower listbox "systemvariables" you should find "path"
> 7)   select it and click the edit button
> 8)   Append the Postgres-directory to the PATH-string   ...bla...bla...
> ;C:\Programs\PostgreSQL\8.0\bin
>      seperated by a   ;
> 9)   click OK and OK again
>
> The CMDs should have the extended path from now on.
> At least when you log out and in again. No reboot necesary.

Andreas, that is almost exactly what I did, before receiving your email.  I'm a
PostgreSQL newbie but I've been around the block with databases and OSs a few
times (20+ years).

What I am surprised is that this is (apparently) not discussed in the manual or
the FAQ.  The only indirect reference I found is in section 14.6.2 where it
states --in a Unix context-- that "you should add [the PostgreSQL bin directory]
into your PATH".

The lack of such a reference gives me the impression that, at this time, native
Win32 users are technically knowledgeable, because a real newbie may not figure
out how to address the "unrecognized command" createdb problem.

A related issue that I thought would be mentioned in the manuals/FAQ is where to
add the bin directory in the PATH.  The 14.6.2 section, only by example, implies
it should be prepended to the PATH.  However, you suggest it should be appended.
  I know of one other database that has a 'createdb' command so if I were to
append it, it would still not find the PostgreSQL version.  This again may
indicate the tech-savvy expected of PostgreSQL users.

Joe

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Re: Win32 users?

Andreas-3-2
Joe schrieb:

> What I am surprised is that this is (apparently) not discussed in the
> manual or the FAQ.  The only indirect reference I found is in section
> 14.6.2 where it states --in a Unix context-- that "you should add [the
> PostgreSQL bin directory] into your PATH".

Well, perhaps because the windows platform is relatively recent addition
to the Postgres habitat?
On the other hand I'd guess, that people who NEED that detailed
handholding would not bother to install a full blown SQL server or at
least would prefer to play with PGAdmin3.

> The lack of such a reference gives me the impression that, at this
> time, native Win32 users are technically knowledgeable, because a real
> newbie may not figure out how to address the "unrecognized command"
> createdb problem.

He/she would be a computer newbie then?

> A related issue that I thought would be mentioned in the manuals/FAQ
> is where to add the bin directory in the PATH.  The 14.6.2 section,
> only by example, implies it should be prepended to the PATH.  However,
> you suggest it should be appended.  I know of one other database that
> has a 'createdb' command so if I were to append it, it would still not
> find the PostgreSQL version.

... and if I had a card-game that happens to be called "createdb" ...
I'd allways append because this wouldn't unrecognized breake any
software that was there before.
I guess one can't naively manipulate crucial system info as PATH without
any basic knowledge what could be affected.
While I generally would append it to PATH, I'd still put it before the
CygWin-Bin if both systems are installed.  ;)

Postgres' doc could mention this, too.

Btw. if you have 2 DBMS with a createdb command then you simply can't
use a global PATH.
Then you have to create 2 batch commands that call CMD and set the path
just for this cmd-session.
Someone who likes to run 2 DBMS parallely should figure this out, too.

>   This again may indicate the tech-savvy expected of PostgreSQL users.

Well, yes ...   ;)



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Re: Win32 users?

Bob Pawley
I'll date myself so you all may know from where I am coming. My first lesson
in binary math took place in a classroom in 1958. Since then I have
witnessed a lot that has since swept under the bridge.



This thread reminds me of the discussion that surrounded the complexity of
using the first spreadsheets (the precursor to today's Databases) that, at
the time, could best be done by Wang. In the 80s Wang built an empire around
their computers holding their own spreadsheet software. The system was
complex and required specially trained operators in order to accomplish even
the most basic of tasks.



Then along came Windows. Wang collapsed. All of those specially trained
operators were forced to find other employment. This major dislocation to
peoples lives and livelihood was an overnight phenomenon.



In my 47 years of being somewhat aligned to the software industry this story
was repeated over and over again.



There is a lesson to be learned from the Wang experience.



People want tools to do tasks. They do not want to spend their own time (or
their own money to hire others) to build, design, repair or change the tools
that they need just in order to accomplish their own work - the work they
know best and from which they make a living. A good tool - a perfect tool -
is like a hammer. Its use is immediately known and it can be deployed
quickly, accurately and with little or no specialized training.



So I caution all to not make light of newbies who are searching for good
tools (not even perfect tools - yet) to do the work that needs doing. The
world will not sit by and continue to pay for Wang operators.



Bob Pawley

Big Time Newbie
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andreas" <[hidden email]>
To: "Joe" <[hidden email]>
Cc: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 9:16 AM
Subject: Re: [GENERAL] Win32 users?


> Joe schrieb:
>
>> What I am surprised is that this is (apparently) not discussed in the
>> manual or the FAQ.  The only indirect reference I found is in section
>> 14.6.2 where it states --in a Unix context-- that "you should add [the
>> PostgreSQL bin directory] into your PATH".
>
> Well, perhaps because the windows platform is relatively recent addition
> to the Postgres habitat?
> On the other hand I'd guess, that people who NEED that detailed
> handholding would not bother to install a full blown SQL server or at
> least would prefer to play with PGAdmin3.
>
>> The lack of such a reference gives me the impression that, at this time,
>> native Win32 users are technically knowledgeable, because a real newbie
>> may not figure out how to address the "unrecognized command" createdb
>> problem.
>
> He/she would be a computer newbie then?
>
>> A related issue that I thought would be mentioned in the manuals/FAQ is
>> where to add the bin directory in the PATH.  The 14.6.2 section, only by
>> example, implies it should be prepended to the PATH.  However, you
>> suggest it should be appended.  I know of one other database that has a
>> 'createdb' command so if I were to append it, it would still not find the
>> PostgreSQL version.
>
> ... and if I had a card-game that happens to be called "createdb" ...
> I'd allways append because this wouldn't unrecognized breake any software
> that was there before.
> I guess one can't naively manipulate crucial system info as PATH without
> any basic knowledge what could be affected.
> While I generally would append it to PATH, I'd still put it before the
> CygWin-Bin if both systems are installed.  ;)
>
> Postgres' doc could mention this, too.
>
> Btw. if you have 2 DBMS with a createdb command then you simply can't use
> a global PATH.
> Then you have to create 2 batch commands that call CMD and set the path
> just for this cmd-session.
> Someone who likes to run 2 DBMS parallely should figure this out, too.
>
>>   This again may indicate the tech-savvy expected of PostgreSQL users.
>
> Well, yes ...   ;)
>
>
>
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Re: Win32 users?

Magnus Hagander
In reply to this post by Joe-8-2
-cut-

It is correct that the installer does not put the PosgtgreSQL directory
in the system PATH. This is intended behaviour - but mainly because we
didn't have time to do a "proper fix" for the 8.0 release.

We hope to give a choice to the user on what to do (where to put the
shared DLLs, and what to put in the system PATH) in the next version of
the installer.

If you wish to track th eprogress on this, see our feature request
tracker on
http://pgfoundry.org/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1000160&group_id=
1000007&atid=129 that talks about this specific thing.
(Not much happening on the installer right now as the developers are
focusing their time on the backend up to the feature freeze, but it'll
pick up)


> What I am surprised is that this is (apparently) not
> discussed in the manual or the FAQ.  The only indirect
> reference I found is in section 14.6.2 where it states --in a
> Unix context-- that "you should add [the PostgreSQL bin
> directory] into your PATH".

This is probably a good thing to put in the installer FAQ. If you
provide a good text, I'll be happy to put it in (or a diff against the
FAQ source - it's in the pginstaller cvs tree)

There are probably several parts of the documentation that are lacking
in win32 specific information - simply because the port is new. Much of
this is addressed in the FAQ, but certainly not everything (yet).


> The lack of such a reference gives me the impression that, at
> this time, native
> Win32 users are technically knowledgeable, because a real
> newbie may not figure out how to address the "unrecognized
> command" createdb problem.

I think you'll find two kinds of pgsql-win32 today:

* Technically knowledgeable users who know how to fix this problem
without any problems

* "Windows only people (=Commandline Newbies)" and "Total newbies".
These people use pgAdmin to do almost everything they do. They may fire
up a psql if required, but that's about it. This is the group that the
8.0 installer was primarily targeted at.

This leaves the "in-betweens" fairly uncovered for, which is something
you have found out about the hard way. We hope to address this in the
8.1 installer, and anything we can do on the docs of course. Suggestions
(or even better, documentation text or code) is always welcome!


> A related issue that I thought would be mentioned in the
> manuals/FAQ is where to add the bin directory in the PATH.  
> The 14.6.2 section, only by example, implies it should be
> prepended to the PATH.  However, you suggest it should be appended.

In most situations, this realy shouldn't matter. Unless you have
muptiple pg installations with different versions on the same system.


>   I know of one other database that has a 'createdb' command
> so if I were to append it, it would still not find the
> PostgreSQL version.  This again may indicate the tech-savvy
> expected of PostgreSQL users.

This highlights exactly the reason why we do *NOT* prepend the
postgresql directory to the path by default: If we did, this *other*
tools "createdb" command would *stop working*.
This has to be an informed decision by the user, which is what we hope
to put into 8.1.

//Magnus

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Re: Win32 users?

Joe-8-2
In reply to this post by Joe-8-2
Andreas wrote:

 > On the other hand I'd guess, that people who NEED that detailed handholding
would not bother to install a full blown SQL server or at least would prefer to
play with PGAdmin3.

I'm sorry but I disagree.  Stating that you need to may need to add the bin
directory to your path, is what I consider essential documentation, not detailed
handholding (as opposed to the detailed Windows instructions you provided earlier).

 >>   This again may indicate the tech-savvy expected of PostgreSQL users.
 >
 >
 > Well, yes ...   ;)

Isn't PostgreSQL trying to break beyond its traditional user base?  Or do
Pervasive, SRA, etc., provide their own documentation, geared more to users who
may be, say, more "business oriented"?

Joe

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Re: Win32 users?

Martijn van Oosterhout
In reply to this post by Bob Pawley
On Sun, Jun 26, 2005 at 10:59:37AM -0700, Bob Pawley wrote:
> I'll date myself so you all may know from where I am coming. My first
> lesson in binary math took place in a classroom in 1958. Since then I have
> witnessed a lot that has since swept under the bridge.

<snip>

> People want tools to do tasks. They do not want to spend their own time (or
> their own money to hire others) to build, design, repair or change the
> tools that they need just in order to accomplish their own work - the work
> they know best and from which they make a living. A good tool - a perfect
> tool - is like a hammer. Its use is immediately known and it can be
> deployed quickly, accurately and with little or no specialized training.

I would point out that the use of a hammer is obvious because it really
only has one use. Maybe two. A database is something else. It's a
system that provides as service and tries to please a lot of different
types of potential users, not all of which want the same thing.

> So I caution all to not make light of newbies who are searching for good
> tools (not even perfect tools - yet) to do the work that needs doing. The
> world will not sit by and continue to pay for Wang operators.

People who don't care about how it works should simply install PGAdmin
III and then they don't need to understand PATHs. People who don't know
what a command line does should stay away from it. They aren't required
to use it (in theory, windows is a new port so it might need some
work). People who do know won't learn it from us, they will know it
from elsewhere.

And on the other hand, PostgreSQL shouldn't play with global settings
unless really needed. Windows is a new port so there mau still be some
bugs to work out. If people need a non-standard setup then no graphical
interface is going to make it much easier for them...

Have a nice day,
--
Martijn van Oosterhout   <[hidden email]>   http://svana.org/kleptog/
> Patent. n. Genius is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. A patent is a
> tool for doing 5% of the work and then sitting around waiting for someone
> else to do the other 95% so you can sue them.

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Re: Win32 users?

Joe-8-2
Martijn van Oosterhout wrote:
> People who don't care about how it works should simply install PGAdmin
> III and then they don't need to understand PATHs. People who don't know
> what a command line does should stay away from it. They aren't required
> to use it (in theory, windows is a new port so it might need some
> work). People who do know won't learn it from us, they will know it
> from elsewhere.

It's not a matter of learning, but of information.  I know what a command line
is, but I still think the PostgreSQL documentation should indicate what one
should do to *use* the programs.  I can easily figure out by inspection after
the install, that all/most of the executables ended up in the 'bin' directory so
I need to add it to my PATH.  Nevertheless, I still expect a README, FAQ or the
manuals to point this out for completeness, i.e., regardless of newbie or expert
status.

Joe

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Re: Win32 users?

Douglas McNaught
Joe <[hidden email]> writes:

> It's not a matter of learning, but of information.  I know what a
> command line is, but I still think the PostgreSQL documentation should
> indicate what one should do to *use* the programs.  I can easily
> figure out by inspection after the install, that all/most of the
> executables ended up in the 'bin' directory so I need to add it to my
> PATH.  Nevertheless, I still expect a README, FAQ or the manuals to
> point this out for completeness, i.e., regardless of newbie or expert
> status.

Your points are good.  Documentation patches are always welcome.

-Doug

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Re: automating backup ?

Zlatko Matic
In reply to this post by Michael Fuhr
Thanks Fuhr.
Anybody can tell me how to do it on Windows XP ?
Thanks.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Fuhr" <[hidden email]>
To: "Zlatko Matic" <[hidden email]>
Cc: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: [GENERAL] automating backup ?


> On Sun, Jun 26, 2005 at 11:18:31AM +0200, Zlatko Matic wrote:
>>
>> How to automate backup, so that Postgres automatically backups, for
>> example, once in a week ?
>
> Using the operating system's mechanism for scheduling jobs to run
> periodically.  For example, cron on Unix-like systems.
>
>> The same question about vacuum ?
>
> Same answer as above.  See also contrib/pg_autovacuum.
>
>> Concerning backup, how to prevent that someone makes a copy (for example
>> pg_dumpall) of a database, then installs new instance of Postgres, create
>> the same user acount that was the original owner and then restore the
>> database. In that case all restrictions would be overriden, right ?
>
> All what restrictions?  If you've granted users permission to select
> certain data, then they can copy that data to somewhere else and
> do whatever they like with it; but with the original data they can
> do only what you grant them permission to do.  If you don't want
> users to copy data then don't grant them select privilege on it,
> and make sure they don't have database superuser or operating system
> superuser (administrator) privileges on the database server.
>
> --
> Michael Fuhr
> http://www.fuhr.org/~mfuhr/ 


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Re: automating backup ?

Harvey, Allan AC
In reply to this post by Zlatko Matic
Start->Control Panel->Scheduled Tasks

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]]On Behalf Of Zlatko Matic
> Sent: Monday, 27 June 2005 9:21 AM
> To: Michael Fuhr
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [GENERAL] automating backup ?
>
>
> Thanks Fuhr.
> Anybody can tell me how to do it on Windows XP ?
> Thanks.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Fuhr" <[hidden email]>
> To: "Zlatko Matic" <[hidden email]>
> Cc: <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 2:59 PM
> Subject: Re: [GENERAL] automating backup ?
>
>
> > On Sun, Jun 26, 2005 at 11:18:31AM +0200, Zlatko Matic wrote:
> >>
> >> How to automate backup, so that Postgres automatically backups, for
> >> example, once in a week ?
> >
> > Using the operating system's mechanism for scheduling jobs to run
> > periodically.  For example, cron on Unix-like systems.
> >
> >> The same question about vacuum ?
> >
> > Same answer as above.  See also contrib/pg_autovacuum.
> >
> >> Concerning backup, how to prevent that someone makes a
> copy (for example
> >> pg_dumpall) of a database, then installs new instance of
> Postgres, create
> >> the same user acount that was the original owner and then
> restore the
> >> database. In that case all restrictions would be overriden, right ?
> >
> > All what restrictions?  If you've granted users permission to select
> > certain data, then they can copy that data to somewhere else and
> > do whatever they like with it; but with the original data they can
> > do only what you grant them permission to do.  If you don't want
> > users to copy data then don't grant them select privilege on it,
> > and make sure they don't have database superuser or operating system
> > superuser (administrator) privileges on the database server.
> >
> > --
> > Michael Fuhr
> > http://www.fuhr.org/~mfuhr/ 
>
>
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Re: automating backup ?

Marco Colombo
In reply to this post by Zlatko Matic
On Sun, 2005-06-26 at 11:18 +0200, Zlatko Matic wrote:
> How to automate backup, so that Postgres automatically backups, for example,
> once in a week ?
> The same question about vacuum ?
>
> Concerning backup, how to prevent that someone makes a copy (for example
> pg_dumpall) of a database,

pg_dumpall is no special case. It just runs some SQL queries. Your users
are subject to the normal permission checking.

> then installs new instance of Postgres, create
> the same user acount that was the original owner and then restore the
> database. In that case all restrictions would be overriden, right ?

No, because pg_dumpall doesn't override any restriction.

Of course, if someone puts his hands on _your_ backups (made with full
permissions), he can access everything, unless you encrypted it.

.TM.
--
      ____/  ____/   /
     /      /       /                   Marco Colombo
    ___/  ___  /   /                  Technical Manager
   /          /   /                      ESI s.r.l.
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Re: Win32 users?

Marco Colombo-2
In reply to this post by Bob Pawley
On Sun, 2005-06-26 at 10:59 -0700, Bob Pawley wrote:
> I'll date myself so you all may know from where I am coming. My first lesson
> in binary math took place in a classroom in 1958. Since then I have
> witnessed a lot that has since swept under the bridge.
>
>
>
> This thread reminds me of the discussion that surrounded the complexity of
> using the first spreadsheets (the precursor to today's Databases)
                                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

What? Well, I admit I was not there in the 60's, but IFAIK databases
predate spreadsheets by far.

[...]

> In my 47 years of being somewhat aligned to the software industry this story
> was repeated over and over again.
>
> There is a lesson to be learned from the Wang experience.
>
> People want tools to do tasks. They do not want to spend their own time (or
> their own money to hire others) to build, design, repair or change the tools
> that they need just in order to accomplish their own work - the work they
> know best and from which they make a living. A good tool - a perfect tool -
> is like a hammer. Its use is immediately known and it can be deployed
> quickly, accurately and with little or no specialized training.

Pardom me, but the last sentence sounds ridiculous. Think of a Master
Smith making a perfect Katana. Guess which tool he's going to use
mostly? The hammer. Explain me how "its use is immediately known and it
can be deployed, accurately and with little or no specialized training"
applies here. Expecially the last part. Do you _really_ think that just
looking at even a remarkably simple tool such a hammer makes you able to
accomplish ("accurately"!) _anything_ that can be done with it? Before
answering, think about Michelangelo or Da Vinci.

> So I caution all to not make light of newbies who are searching for good
> tools (not even perfect tools - yet) to do the work that needs doing. The
> world will not sit by and continue to pay for Wang operators.

There are tasks that require the human brain in order to overcome the
lack of row performance of computers. Those task are not complex, it's
the computer that is slow. Give 20 years of advance in the computer
industry, and those tasks will require no human brain at all, for the
computers will be fast enough.

But not all task are like that. Some will grow with the computers. The
bigger the processing power, the more data you want to process. Some are
just complex at human brain level, _no matter what tool they involve_.
We have wordprocessors these days, but they don't turn us all into great
poets and writers, even it they are terribly better compared to quills.

There is some (brain) complexity in computer systems in general, and
there is in databases. It's just that some tasks are not for newbies, be
the tool a hammer or a RDBMS. When the tool is aimed mostly at such
tasks, there's little need to make it too newbie-friendly.

.TM.
--
      ____/  ____/   /
     /      /       /                   Marco Colombo
    ___/  ___  /   /                  Technical Manager
   /          /   /                      ESI s.r.l.
 _____/ _____/  _/                      [hidden email]


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