If this goes well I have a new blog engine
Assuming this post shows up then I'll have successfully migrated from Chronicle to a temporary replacement.
Chronicle is awesome, and despite a lack of activity recently it is not dead. (No activity because it continued to do everything I needed for my blog.)
Unfortunately though there is a problem with chronicle, it suffers from a bit of a performance problem which has gradually become more and more vexing as the nubmer of entries I have has grown.
When chronicle runs it :
- It reads each post into a complex data-structure.
- Then it walks this multiple times.
- Finally it outputs a whole bunch of posts.
In the general case you rebuild a blog because you've made a entry, or received a new comment. There is some code which tries to use
memcached for caching, but in general chronicle just isn't fast and it is certainly memory-bound if you have a couple of thousand entries.
Currently my test data-set contains 2000 entries and to rebuild that from a clean start takes around 4 minutes, which is pretty horrific.
So what is the alternative? What if you could parse each post once, add it to an SQLite database, and then use that for writing your output pages? Instead of the complex data-structure in-RAM and the need to parse a zillion files you'd have a standard/simple SQL structure you could use to build a tag-cloud, an archive, & etc. If you store the contents of the parsed-blog, along with the
mtime of the source file you can update it if the entry is changed in the future, as I sometimes make typos which I only spot once Ive run
make steve on my blog sources.
Not surprisingly the newer code is significantly faster if you have 2000+ posts. If you've imported the posts into SQLite the most recent entries are updated in 3 seconds. If you're starting cold, parsing each entry, inserting it into SQLite, and then generating the blog from scratch the build time is still less than 10 seconds.
The downside is that I've removed features, obviously nothing that I use myself. Most notably the calendar view is gone, as is the ability to use date-based URLs. Less seriously there is only a single theme, which is what is used upon this site.
In conclusion I've written something last night which is a stepping stone between the current
chronicle2 which will appear in due course.
PS. This entry was written in
markdown, just because I wanted to be sure it worked.