[Dev] Performance Update: Why is Chandler slow on Mac?

Alec Flett alecf at osafoundation.org
Fri Mar 10 11:32:43 PST 2006

Ted Leung wrote:
> Is it worthwhile trying to compile some of the smaller benchmarks on 
> Windows using gcc to get some idea of how bad off we are using GCC?    
> We could do release builds on the mac using either the IBM XLC 
> compiler or on Mac OS intel using intel's compiler
I'm guessing that trying to get chandler/wx building on a different 
compiler is going to be a nightmare - not because of compiler 
incompatibilities, but because getting all the Makefiles to do what we 
want is going to be extremely tedious.. and its not clear to me if there 
is any benefit beyond confirming that in fact VC++ is a better compiler 
than gcc.

It seems like what we've determined is "the python benchmarks are slower 
on mac than windows because of gcc" - and that this is probably true for 
all python apps... but Chandler on Linux isn't that bad.  While I think 
this was a useful exercise so that we can have a baseline to compare 
windows to mac, it doesn't really explain why the mac is also much 
faster than Linux. It sounds like we need to start focusing on 
chandler-specific stuff, specifically wx and berkeleydb.

How about making some benchmarks:
1) Resizing the chandler window (tests wx & wxPython, shouldn't have 
much repository interference)
2) in headless, loading 3000 items and accessing some values on them

This might at least give us a clue if the problems are mostly in the UI, 
or mostly in the database.

[As an aside: when I was doing the calendar performance work in 0.6, we 
got benefits tweaking both the DB and wx - Andi did the db work of 
course and I was focused on wx. One thing I found was that the 
Python-to-C++ layer (SWIG) was a definite bottleneck for drawing. It 
wouldn't surprise me if the slower gcc is making wx that much slower on 
the mac because the SWIG'ed code is, of course, C++ and thus slow. I 
will try to write up a wiki page next week with "lessons learned" from 
wxPython performance tweaking.]

> Ted
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