Parsing performance

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With the version 1.25, this performance issue has been resolved by using a generic syntax plugin that captures all components to overcome the dokuwiki parser limitations.

When installing combo, people may see a degradation in performance during the initial rendering of a page.

This page explains why.

Note of caution

The measurements have been made on a development laptop with:

  • Apache 2.4
  • Without FastCGI
  • On Windows
  • With Php 7.2.4
  • And Xdebug installed (debug instruction adds time)

On a production Linux server, the latency measured is in the second range.

Why ?

Why do we get extra execution time after installing combo.

Large Number of syntax components

The one reason for the degradation is due to the parser.

The execution time of the parser is a linear function of the number of syntax component.

Combo adds 95 components.

The more syntax, the more the parser takes time to build.

In this snapshot, we can see that for a parsing (get_instructions), the process runs for 9 seconds where:

  • the parser build takes 6 seconds (connect)
  • the actual parse takes 2.5 second

Dokuwiki Parser Execution Time

No parse tree

The second reason is that simple and still complex syntax components need to know where they are, in the page.

For instance: the combo heading may be:

How does it know this fact?
It checks if it is inside a component or not (in other words, if it has a parent)

And unfortunately, this functionality is not embedded natively in DokuWiki.

  • The parse tree is not a tree but a list (an array)
  • We can't jump to the parent, we need to read through the list
  • When deleting, we delete in a list, we lost the internal array pointer, meaning we need to read the whole array to position the pointer back.
  • In the render function, we don't get the parse tree at all, we can't, therefore, adapt the output to the parent, we need to do that in the parse step (first request)

The below snapshot shows that moving in the parse tree (called callstack in combo), takes up 1/3 of the execution time (3secs over 9)

Dokuwiki Callstack Execution Time


Combo offers slot functionality that the user can modify on the fly (header, footer, …).

This functionality means that the parser needs to be used, adding execution time to the first request.

Works in Progress and Solution

To solve this problem, we are working on the … parser.

By order of priority, we have:

  • registering only one component that will dispatch to all marki components
  • creating a parser with a parse tree
  • going to a language that is not a script (CGI), such as node so that the parser is created at start time and not each time.

Data Profiling

If you want to check, below are requests from the edit page that have been profiled.

You can read them with any Xdebug Profile Reader

You can see that the more execution, the more time.

Plugin Configuration Profile file Server Time Profile File Size (kb)
None without cache cachegrind.out.1671625103-D__dokuwiki_doku_php 880ms 5941
Combo without cache, first request cachegrind.out.1671625269-D__dokuwiki_doku_php 7sec 43734
Combo with cache, second request cachegrind.out.1671625714-D__dokuwiki_doku_php 976 after upstart 3543
Combo / strap without cache, first request cachegrind.out.1671625904-D__dokuwiki_doku_php 10 second 70652
Combo / strap with cache, second request cachegrind.out.1671626765-D__dokuwiki_doku_php 822ms 3974

The files are available on this link

Task Runner