Chapter 44. PostgreSQL Coding Conventions

Table of Contents
44.1. Formatting
44.2. Reporting Errors Within the Server
44.3. Error Message Style Guide
44.3.1. What goes where
44.3.2. Formatting
44.3.3. Quotation marks
44.3.4. Use of quotes
44.3.5. Grammar and punctuation
44.3.6. Upper case vs. lower case
44.3.7. Avoid passive voice
44.3.8. Present vs past tense
44.3.9. Type of the object
44.3.10. Brackets
44.3.11. Assembling error messages
44.3.12. Reasons for errors
44.3.13. Function names
44.3.14. Tricky words to avoid
44.3.15. Proper spelling
44.3.16. Localization

44.1. Formatting

Source code formatting uses 4 column tab spacing, with tabs preserved (i.e. tabs are not expanded to spaces). Each logical indentation level is one additional tab stop. Layout rules (brace positioning, etc) follow BSD conventions.

While submitted patches do not absolutely have to follow these formatting rules, it's a good idea to do so. Your code will get run through pgindent, so there's no point in making it look nice under some other set of formatting conventions.

For Emacs, add the following (or something similar) to your ~/.emacs initialization file:

;; check for files with a path containing "postgres" or "pgsql"
(setq auto-mode-alist
  (cons '("\\(postgres\\|pgsql\\).*\\.[ch]\\'" . pgsql-c-mode)
(setq auto-mode-alist
  (cons '("\\(postgres\\|pgsql\\).*\\.cc\\'" . pgsql-c-mode)

(defun pgsql-c-mode ()
  ;; sets up formatting for PostgreSQL C code
  (setq-default tab-width 4)
  (c-set-style "bsd")             ; set c-basic-offset to 4, plus other stuff
  (c-set-offset 'case-label '+)   ; tweak case indent to match PG custom
  (setq indent-tabs-mode t))      ; make sure we keep tabs when indenting

For vi, your ~/.vimrc or equivalent file should contain the following:

set tabstop=4

or equivalently from within vi, try

:set ts=4

The text browsing tools more and less can be invoked as

more -x4
less -x4

to make them show tabs appropriately.