[orm-devel] No such attribute or function 'oid'

Eric Walstad orm-devel@mailman.tux4web.de
Mon, 20 Jan 2003 13:46:38 -0800

Hi guys,
I'm trying to keep up with you here.  I'm no postgresql guru, so let me 
know if I'm following the ideas regarding ORM and oid's...

  - It seems that the PostgreSQL folks discourage using oid's for user 
tables [1], as Ross mentioned.
  - Orm uses oid's to identify unique records for backwards 
compatibility reasons.
  - Ross thinks oid's shouldn't be used for pk's because of the known 
lack of uniqueness (on large databases and/or large tables, see [1]) but 
that using a pk will result in an extra call to the database on INSERTs; 
the extra call retreives the newly inserted pk.
     - Extra calls to the database are bad, a penalty in time and 
processor load.
     - Non-unique oid's are bad as they may result in duplicate records.
  - If ORM used pk's instead of oid's it should be able to deal with 
compound/multi-column pk's.  Diedrich has ideas for how to elegantly 
handle the issue of compound/multi-column pk's.

A question for Diedrich:  Will ORM someday support the use of pk's 
(instead of|in addition to) oid's?

In response to Diedrich's request for an example of compound primary key:
"Could you send me with a real world example in SQL?"
Here's a simple example that allows me to relate a funding source 
(Contract, Work Authorization, Purchase Order; represents money against 
which I can bill my clients) to zero or more invoices (or multiple 
funding sources to an invoice).  It has only two fields and both 
together define the primary key:

CREATE TABLE "invoice_funding" (
	"invoice_id" integer NOT NULL,
	"funding_source_id" integer NOT NULL,
	Constraint "invoice_funding_pkey" Primary Key ("invoice_id", 

FWIW, I'd prefer to have orm use pk's instead of oid's, or to have the 
option to use pk's instead of oid's.  I'm less concerned with extra 
calls to the database than I am of potentially finding duplicate records 
in an orm result set.

If I've misunderstood something, please let me know.

Best regards,



Ross J. Reedstrom wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 13, 2003 at 01:35:32PM -0600, Ross J. Reedstrom wrote:
>>On Mon, Jan 13, 2003 at 05:44:20PM +0100, Diedrich Vorberg wrote:
>>>Hi Ross,
>>>>Subject: No such attribute or function 'oid'
>>>Did the patch throw this exception?
>>Didn't try it. BTW, I wasn't the original poster on this, you know. That
>>was Eric Walstad.
>>>>>... Stuff about gpsql and oids
>>>The reason I kept the special treatment of oids is rather 
>>>'traditional' than practical: oids and the idea of an "object 
>>>relational database" inspired orm in the first place. Also the 
>>>predecessor of orm depended on oids entirely (which turned out to be 
>>>one of my worst ideas for it, because you couldn't easily backup :-). 
>>>I wanted to make orm downward-compatible.
>>Well ,the problem is that right now oids are deprecated, but thier correct
>>replacements are really ready. For example, the wire protocol actually 
> ------------------^not
> Dang, I'm having trouble with dropped negations. 
>>provides the OID of a newly inserted tuple, for free. Getting anything
>>else requires an extra round trip to the DB. This is an extra pain when
>>the primary key is a backend generated serial.
> Ross