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bug#40407: [PATCH] slow ENCODE_FILE and DECODE_FILE

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: bug#40407: [PATCH] slow ENCODE_FILE and DECODE_FILE
Date: Sat, 04 Apr 2020 12:26:11 +0300

> From: Mattias Engdegård <mattiase@acm.org>
> Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2020 00:32:21 +0200
> Cc: 40407@debbugs.gnu.org
>          - file-relative-name                                 141,551  15%
>           - file-name-case-insensitive-p                      100,613  11%
>            - ucs-normalize-hfs-nfd-pre-write-conversion       100,613  11%
>             - ucs-normalize-HFS-NFD-region                    100,613  11%
>                ucs-normalize-region                           100,613  11%
>           - expand-file-name                                   40,828   4%
>            - ucs-normalize-hfs-nfd-post-read-conversion        40,828   4%
>             - ucs-normalize-HFS-NFC-region                     40,828   4%
>                ucs-normalize-region                            40,828   4%
> where file_name_case_insensitive_p calls ENCODE_FILE and expand_file_name 
> calls DECODE_FILE.

DECODE_FILE is called because the file name in question starts with a
"~"?  Otherwise, I don't think I understand why would expand-file-name
need to decode a file name.

> I'm not sure how much each part of ucs-normalize-region actually consumes, 
> but I think we can agree that we don't want it called on any platform unless 
> strictly necessary.

Any expensive code should be avoided if it isn't necessary, so yes, I
agree.  And yes, Unicode normalization is expensive.  If we consider
the macOS filesystem idiosyncrasies important to support efficiently,
perhaps we should rewrite the normalization code in C.

> > I don't think every encoding is ASCII compatible, so I don't see how
> > we can assume that in general.  But the check whether an encoding is
> > ASCII-compatible takes a negligible amount of time, so why bother with
> > such an assumption?
> Quite, I just thought I'd ask in case there were some unwritten invariant 
> that you knew about.

Whether a coding-system is ASCII-compatible is determined by the
definition of that coding-system.  Look in mule-conf.el, and you will
see there several that aren't ASCII-compatible.  UTF-16 is one
example, but there are others.

> > I don't think we can return the same string if NOCOPY is non-zero.
> > The callers might not expect that, and you might inadvertently cause
> > the original string be modified behind the caller's back.
> You are no doubt correct, but doesn't it look like the sense of NOCOPY has 
> been inverted here?

That ship has sailed long ago (I could explain how this "inverted"
meaning could make sense, but I don't think it's relevant to the issue
at hand), and there are several other internal functions that use a
similar argument in the same "inverted" sense.  This is a separate
issue, anyway.

> Since string mutation is so rare, I doubt it has caused any real trouble.

You are wrong here, it can happen very easily, especially when you
manipulate the encoded string in C.  The simplest use case is that you
encode a file name, and then make some change to the encoded string,
like change the letter-case or remove the trailing slash.  Suddenly
the original string is changed as well, and the Lisp caller of the
high-level function might be mightily surprised by the result.

IME, the cases where we can safely assume it's OK to return the same
string are actually very rare.  It is no accident that you saw so few
calls of these functions where we use that optional behavior.

> Now, do we fix it by inverting the sense of the argument, or by renaming it 
> to COPY?

Neither, IMO.  Again, it's a separate problem, and let's keep our
sights squarely on the original issue you wanted to fix.  Let's tackle
the NOCOPY issue in a separate discussion, OK?


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