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proposal for improvements in indexing

From: Dirk Bergstrom
Subject: proposal for improvements in indexing
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 13:08:22 -0800

whilst trying to solve the ongoing problems in PR 218, i've become frustrated 
with the gnats index & database lock system.  it's crufty and error prone, and 
it needs some serious work.

what's really needed is to move to a better index format, like gdbm.  i *think* 
that would allow us to get rid of the full database lock (for most cases).  we 
would only need PR locks, and the gdbm_open() call (which, presumably, does not 
allow two writers on the same dbm file).

this would make the system a *lot* more robust.  it would improve speed (many 
transactions would need to read only one PR entry, instead of the whole index). 
 it would reduce the possibility of index corruption (reading & writing 
thousands of index entries for each edit seems like a bad idea).  it would 
reduce lock contention (two processes could simultaneously edit different PRs).

of course, that's real work.  but i think it should be considered for 4.1 or 

Dirk Bergstrom               address@hidden
Juniper Networks Inc.,          Computer Geek
Tel: 707.433.0564           Fax: 707.433.0769

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