Doc: improve documentation of configuration settings that have units

Enterprise / PostgreSQL - Tom Lane [sss.pgh.pa.us] - 26 October 2019 16:30 EDT

When we added the GUC units feature, we didn't make any great effort to adjust the documentation of individual GUCs; they tended to still say things like "this is the number of milliseconds that ...", even though users might prefer to write some other units, and SHOW might even show the value in other units. Commit 6c9fb69f2 made an effort to improve this situation, but I thought it made things less readable by injecting units information in mid-sentence. It also wasn't very consistent, and did not touch all the GUCs that have units.

To improve matters, standardize on the phrasing "If this value is specified without units, it is taken as ". Also, try to standardize where this is mentioned, right before the specification of the default. (In a couple of places, doing that would've required more rewriting than seemed justified, so I wasn't 100% consistent about that.) I also tried to use the phrases "amount of time", "amount of memory", etc rather than describing the contents of GUCs in other ways, as those were the majority usage in places that weren't overcommitting to a particular unit. (I left "length of time" alone in a couple of places, though.)

I failed to resist the temptation to copy-edit some awkward text, too.

Backpatch to v12, like 6c9fb69f2, mainly because v12 hasn't diverged much from HEAD yet.

Discussion: https://postgr.es/m/15882.1571942223@sss.pgh.pa.us

cfb7559083 Doc: improve documentation of configuration settings that have units.
doc/src/sgml/config.sgml | 383 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++------------------
1 file changed, 237 insertions(+), 146 deletions(-)

Upstream: git.postgresql.org


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