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From:Baron Schwartz Date:January 13 2009 3:17am
Subject:Re: Why does changing a table property rebuild the table?
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>> Why would delay_key_writes require a table rebuild? It's not
>> modifying the data. Reloading tens of millions of rows for several
>> hours seems to be a waste of time.

It probably flips a bit in the .frm file or something like that, but I
have not investigated it myself.

My guess is that you can "hack" this to do what you want.  We wrote
about this in our book -- you can alter ENUM lists without a table
rebuild, for example.  I'm betting you can do the same thing here.
Rather than describe the whole thing let me show you the blog post
Aurimas wrote about it:

http://www.mysqlperformanceblog.com/2007/10/29/hacking-to-make-alter-table-online-for-certain-changes/

Baron

-- 
Baron Schwartz, Director of Consulting, Percona Inc.
Our Blog: http://www.mysqlperformanceblog.com/
Our Services: http://www.percona.com/services.html
Thread
Why does changing a table property rebuild the table?mos12 Jan
  • Re: Why does changing a table property rebuild the table?Dan Nelson12 Jan
    • Re: Why does changing a table property rebuild the table?mos12 Jan
      • Re: Why does changing a table property rebuild the table?Dan Nelson12 Jan
        • Re: Why does changing a table property rebuild the table?Baron Schwartz13 Jan
          • Re: Why does changing a table property rebuild the table?mos14 Jan