Opened 9 years ago

Closed 9 years ago

#24894 closed New feature (fixed)

Add CURRENT_TIMESTAMP function to contrib.postgres

Reported by: Adam Johnson Owned by: Adam Johnson
Component: contrib.postgres Version: 1.8
Severity: Normal Keywords:
Cc: Triage Stage: Ready for checkin
Has patch: yes Needs documentation: no
Needs tests: no Patch needs improvement: no
Easy pickings: no UI/UX: no


#24866 implements a Now() function for the ORM. For postgres, it uses STATEMENT_TIMESTAMP(), in order to be cross-compatible with the other database backends, rather than CURRENT_TIMESTAMP - this is because CURRENT_TIMESTAMP is the same across the transaction. Adding a TransactionNow function to django.contrib.postgres would make this (default) behaviour discoverable and easily usable with Django.

Change History (9)

comment:1 by Tim Graham, 9 years ago

Carl says:

I find TransactionNow() to be more useful than Now() in most cases I run into (e.g. it's often useful for two objects created in the same transaction to have the same creation timestamp). In other words, as usual Postgres gets it right and the other databases get it wrong :-)

That said, TransactionNow() (like any other SQL function) is now trivial to implement yourself, so I won't be bothered if it doesn't make it into contrib.postgres. But on balance I'd be in favor.

Other opinions?

comment:2 by Marc Tamlyn, 9 years ago

I agree with Carl that postgres' transaction now is actually more helpful than the statement now in most cases. Assuming other databases don't have that feature, is there any reason not for us to be opinionated and use the better PG implementation in the main Now() function added in #24866? In most practical use cases they'll be milliseconds off anyway. I guess it's the difference between:

now =
a = Foo.objects.create(created=now)
b = Foo.objects.create(created=now)
self.assertEqual(a.created, b.created)


a = Foo.objects.create(
b = Foo.objects.create(
self.assertNotEqual(a.created, b.created)

(Of course on older MySQL chances are they'd end up the same in the DB anyway!)

I feel that having both in Django would be confusing and unnecessary. Millisecond resolution of timestamp creation is a rare use case and most sites wouldn't notice the difference if they changed database.

comment:3 by Carl Meyer, 9 years ago

I think the choice to keep Now() consistent was the right one. Milliseconds might not seem like much, but the distinction between "multiple objects created in one transaction have identical timestamp" vs "multiple objects created in one transaction have very slightly different timestamps" is a crucial difference in some cases, like if you're trying to enforce unique timestamps, or trying to later query objects that were created together, or whatever. I think potentially-critical semantic differences like that should be reflected in the code, and we should avoid making them inconsistent between database backends when possible.

As far as I'm concerned, a cross-db-consistent Now() plus a TransactionNow() in contrib.postgres is pretty much the ideal resolution here.

comment:4 by Carl Meyer, 9 years ago

One other thought - I would like to see this patch include some kind of brief note in the Now() docs to alert Postgres users (who may be accustomed to Postgres' CURRENT_TIMESTAMP behavior) that Now() is the _statement_ timestamp on all databases, and direct them to TransactionNow() if that's what they want.

comment:5 by Marc Tamlyn, 9 years ago

Triage Stage: UnreviewedAccepted

Ok, I think I can agree with Carl here. Let's add TransactionNow() on the condition we document the difference, and explain to non-pg users how they can fudge TransactionNow() like behaviour using the first of my examples above.

Another related question - does default=Now() on a model field work? I imagine it may not as expressions are not deconstructible so it can't work in migrations? Have expressions accidentally given us database level default support, and if so can we use that for UUID pks?

comment:6 by Carl Meyer, 9 years ago

My guess is that expressions as defaults don't work - but at first glance there doesn't seem to be a reason why they _couldn't_, and that would be really nice for some cases. (Expressions may not be deconstructible, but there's no reason they couldn't be.)

comment:7 by Adam Johnson, 9 years ago

Expressions as defaults don't work, they would need at least #24509 (Allow Expressions when saving new models) to be done. I've had a look at it and it's quite complicated.

I'll add the document pointers to the patch now, it was originally there when this was part of the #24866 patch but I forgot to add it during rebase.

comment:8 by Tim Graham, 9 years ago

Triage Stage: AcceptedReady for checkin

comment:9 by Tim Graham <timograham@…>, 9 years ago

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

In d34d39ad:

Fixed #24894 -- Added contrib.postgres.functions.TransactionNow

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