[pmwiki-users] PmWiki scalebility questions (newbie)

J. Meijer commentgg at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 29 23:18:46 CDT 2006

When PmWiki performance comes to mind, clearly recipies are decisive. However, out of the box PmWiki also has a feature that can greatly impact performance and therefore should be mentioned: pagelists. So it depends on your site. If it uses pagelists extensively in an SQL-like manner, *and* has a large number of pages then performance (I assume) can break down. Especially if you need to render fancy things on the results, like titles for all of them. 
As an example, a page showing a combobox, allowing a user to select a page (from a large group) requires exactly this. My wiki with several thousands of pages uses several such boxes on a page and my basement bargain but otherwise new Dell notebook doesn't quite cut it. 

As another point of concern, I'm not sure about recent developments, but I think PmWiki isn't quite up against sudden explosive success. Imagine a somewhat loaded pmwiki page being listed on the frontpage of digg.com. The server would probably come down. Mind you, in a final analyisis Patrick has the experience, not me. But I once tried making a 30 second cache script just to tackle this specific "heavy read access on a single page" case. But I got stuck, cause every pmwiki upgrade had me patching. Despite some nifty features it was only a couple of lines of code, that's how easy it is. And by bringing this to attention I 'pray' Patrick will integrate this kind of OverloadProtection. Of course if it indeed resolves the problem. 

As a final comment: pmwiki has a solid design behind it, with Patrick carefully analyzing the performance of core operations. As an example, as a result of careful management and design, the core script (pmwiki.php) hasn't suffered at all from bloat, growing only very modestly over recent years. 

Valid question!



On 8/28/06, Patrick R. Michaud <pmichaud at pobox.com> wrote:

    On Mon, Aug 28, 2006 at 01:38:49PM +0200, Hsing-Foo Wang wrote:
    > I am interested in knowing the 'scalebility' of PmWiki.
    > 1. How many pages can PmWiki serve
    > 2. How is the speed/processing of PmWiki infuenced by the number of pages

    More pages can slow things down if directories get too large.
    And some operating systems have a limit on the number of files
    that can go into a single directory.

    > 3. How is the speed/processing of PmWiki influenced by the number of
    > cookbook recipies

    Depends on the recipes  -- the number of markup rules added,
    the efficiency of the pattern rules, and how often they're used.

    > 4. Based on a 'standard' server, is there a 'matrix' on how much load
    > a server can handle?

    Not as far as I know.  The important aspects are to have good
    disk performance and a reasonable amount of memory allocated to
    PHP for processing pages.

    > 5. Are there any default of recipies that infulence the performance of
    > a server significantly?

    Again, I'm not aware of any at the momoent.  Usually when we find
    a recipe that impacts performance in a negative way, it gets fixed
    pretty quickly.

    Hope this helps!


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