Getting started with postgresql

Christopher Browne cbbrowne-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at
Sun Nov 20 21:17:54 UTC 2005

On 11/20/05, Walter Dnes <waltdnes-SLHPyeZ9y/tg9hUCZPvPmw at> wrote:
>   I'm at the tail end of some experiments with de-noising digital photos
> from my camera.
>   My next personal project will be learning postgresql.  I am familiar
> with Oracle SQL and PL/SQL as an end-user/programmer, but not as an
> admin.  I'm not a CS, but at work I do write some read-only queries.
> We've got MS-Access via ODBC as well, but once you get past the really
> simple stuff, GUI "Query By Example" runs into a wall.  To give an idea
> of where I'm at, my "claims-to-fame" are...
>   - cross-tabbing table(s) *WITHOUT A SELF-JOIN*.  (!^%$#& umpteenth-
>     order normalized table)

You mean turning a table with dated entries into one with 12 columns,
one per month?  I usually do self joins for that sort of thing; you
could collect entries using a set returning pl/pgsql function...

>   - A hack for bypassing the PL/SQL 1-megabyte total output limit, and
>     the 255 bytes-per-line limit, for programs launched from the SQL
>     command prompt.

What 1mb total outpt limit?  What 255 bytes/line limit?  These
*aren't* familiar limits...  Are you possibly using version 6.5?

>   Anyone aware of any "postgresql user groups" in the Toronto area?

Funny you should mention that; that was on my "to do" list last week
and didn't get done ;-).  Seriously.  There is actually a pretty
serious set of near-core PostgreSQL people around Toronto.  And I want
to get at least that group in our boardroom at work at least once by
the end of the year.

There's a further agenda..


"Next year, the PostgreSQL project will have its 10-year anniversary.  It
has been proposed to celebrate that occasion with some kind of
gathering of all the involved people.  After some initial informal
discussion, the following framework has been determined:

Proposed dates: July 7-9, 2006
Proposed location: Toronto"

A "TPgUG" will probably try to take place in December.  Once I get
around to bugging some people as to when they prefer.  Darcy Cain is
no longer moderating UU, so maybe there's a Wednesday freeing up ;-). 
Or not :-).

> What are the best quick guides to getting started?

There's something of a quick tutorial in the docs that come with it. 
They are somewhat biased towards being reference material.  I'd point
questions on "how should I do FOO?" to one of the project mailing
lists.  pgsql-sql for things like the crosstab issue, pgsql-admin for
configuring admin stuff, pgsql-general for general issues.  Those
lists are *superb* resources.  Be sure your expectations aren't for 15
minute response times, but good questions tend to get at least decent

> I've installed it
> but haven't fired it up yet.  Are there any booby-traps to watch for?
> E.g. ensure that it doesn't end up listening to external connections on
> the internet?

You can control what IP addresses it listens to via the pg_hba.conf
file...  If you specify your local subnet, then the Internet won't
have a thing to say :-).
"The true  measure of a  man is how he treats  someone who can  do him
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