#PGSQLPhriday 006: What I Wish I Knew While Learning PostgreSQL

Well, for those who don’t know me, I’m just barely started on my PostgreSQL journey. So, what the heck can I contribute to this conversation? Not much, but I do have one tip. It’s about the official documentation and search engines.


When you use Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Google, or whatever search engine you use, what you don’t get is a simple, “here are the pages you asked for”. All the search engines use various mechanisms to surface you “here’s the BEST and MOST POPULAR pages you asked for.”

What defines best in these circumstances? Most accurate? Maybe, maybe not. I’ve never worked for one of these organizations and they tend to keep their algorithms to themselves, for obvious reasons, both good & evil. However, I do know one thing about the PostgreSQL documentation and search engines that is worth sharing.

When you get that link to the documents, from a search engine, from a website, wherever, when you land on the documentation page, look at the very top of the page, here:

Those are all the versions of PostgreSQL documentation that’s available online. The latest version, as I type this, is 15. You can see that where it says “Supported Versions” and shows “Current” as “(15)”. All cool right? Well…. No. Let me highlight part of the screen you’re looking at:

What does that mean? That means that I’m currently looking at the documentation for Version 13 of PostgreSQL, not the latest. See, sometimes the search engines, they point you to the “most popular” or whatever is defined by the algorithm. That’s not necessarily the latest, or whatever, version you need. So you will have to watch for this little bit of functionality. Otherwise, you’ve become the Nazi’s in Indiana Jones:


As I said at the beginning, I’m personally just getting going on this journey, but I hope, this tiny bit of knowledge, helps you on yours. I sure did get bitten a couple of times, looking at old, outdated docs, instead of the latest stuff for the versions I was working on. Now you know, and you can avoid being a Nazi… wait, that came out wrong. You can be sure you’re reading the right version of the docs, that sounds better.

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