Chapter 45. PostgreSQL Coding Conventions

Table of Contents
45.1. Formatting
45.2. Reporting Errors Within the Server
45.3. Error Message Style Guide
45.3.1. What goes where
45.3.2. Formatting
45.3.3. Quotation marks
45.3.4. Use of quotes
45.3.5. Grammar and punctuation
45.3.6. Upper case vs. lower case
45.3.7. Avoid passive voice
45.3.8. Present vs past tense
45.3.9. Type of the object
45.3.10. Brackets
45.3.11. Assembling error messages
45.3.12. Reasons for errors
45.3.13. Function names
45.3.14. Tricky words to avoid
45.3.15. Proper spelling
45.3.16. Localization

45.1. 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.