[darcs-devel] faster darcs whatsnew

Simon Marlow simonmarhaskell at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 12:01:51 UTC 2007

David Roundy wrote:
> On Dec 18, 2007 4:58 AM, Simon Marlow <simonmarhaskell at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hmm, this worries me a bit.  I typically have many GHC trees, and I
>> anticipate using a cache with darcs 2, so will this mean that whatsnew will
>>   sometimes miss changes?  Or will it just be slower?
> Well, using the file-modification-times optimization always means that
> whatsnew will sometimes miss changes, since it's always possible that
> the pristine cache will have the same timestamp as the working
> directory file, but this is unlikely (and no more likely when
> interacting with multiple repositories, it's actually in a single
> repository that you're more likely to modify a file in the working
> directory within a second of when a darcs record is performed).  The
> main issue would be that it'd be slower.  This shouldn't be a big
> issue, since whichever darcs repository you last recorded in (or
> pulled into, etc) will have a fast whatsnew.
> One other possibility would be that we could disable global caching of
> the pristine cache (bad confusion of the term "cache" here).

Ok.  Though it seems the right thing to do is to store the modification 
times in a file under _darcs, the file just needs to contain a list of 
(<file>,<time>) pairs that you read into a Data.Map (you're really just 
using the filesystem as a Data.Map at the moment).  The question is how 
much hacking you'd have to do to make this fast enough... I don't know.  It 
shouldn't be too hard to beat stat() with Data.Map, but there's the 
overhead of populating the Data.Map in the first place.

I guess this isn't a high priority now.  But it would be good if it were 
possible to disable globally caching the pristine copy, so we can get the 
darcs1 behaviour.  Perhaps have separate 'cache:' and 'cachepristine:'?


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