S4 development

May 24, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Sivert Berg @ 18:33

Summer is here, and we all know what that means: GSoC and hack time! This year I will try to document the progress here. Who am I? I am a 22 year old computer science student from Norway attending GSoC for the second time. Once again I was given a chance to work on XMMS2 and S4. It is off to a slow start at first because of some exams, but after June 4th it is full speed ahead. As you may know my project this year involves developing a new database backend called S4 for XMMS2. The project will be mentored by Sébastien Cevey. Some of goals of this year’s project is

  • Proper support for source preferences
  • A standalone S4 query layer
  • Coll 2.0 support

To keep track of time we have set up some milestones with associated deadlines. The first one coming up at June 6th is to have a benchmark set up so we can track performance against the old database, but also against itself as we do changes to see if they are worth it.

I cheated a little and started early. The last week I have been trying a new approach in S4. Instead of storing the index data structures on disk as before we build them on startup. The start up takes a little longer (about 0.5 seconds on a media library with 10,000 entries), but otherwise it seems to perform better or on par with the old code using mmap. With this new approach we will hopefully get a more reliable database, smaller on disk file and some performance improvements. A more thorough analysis will be provided when I have time to run some proper benchmarks.

Happy hacking everyone!

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