Dealing with a bottleneck, wasted inodes and reducing memory usage

We finally managed to deal with one of the major runtime bottlenecks in Lintian.  Previously, our usage of file(1) would sometimes spend a long time classifying various text files.  In Lintian 2.5.14, we applied a series of patches that allowed us to disable file(1)’s “ascii” test.  This means that Lintian will now see all text files as “data”, which is somewhat uninformative.  However, it turns

N: [...] file-info for source:linux/3.2.20-1 done (120.350s)

into

N: [...] file-info for source:linux/3.2.20-1 done (20.984s)

In the same version, we also had Lintian create fewer empty files and directories in its laboratory.  For the normal user, this change has hardly any practical effect.  But for lintian.d.o, this reduces the minimum inodes consumed for binary entries with 8 or so.

For Lintian 2.5.15, we have may end up reducing the memory requirements of Lintian a bit.  So far, we got two changes applied that is taking out at least 12MB of RAM usage on the linux source package and 21 of its binaries.  Furthermore, Lintian will (if Devel::Size is available) be able to tell how much memory it is using for its caches when run with “-dddd”.

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