Re: [pcre-dev] I'm adding PCRE v2 support to Git. It's a bit…

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Author: Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
To: Zoltán Herczeg
CC: pcre-dev
Subject: Re: [pcre-dev] I'm adding PCRE v2 support to Git. It's a bit slower than v1
On Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Zoltán Herczeg <hzmester@???> wrote:
> Hi Ævar,
> this is really awesome news! I am happy that you choose pcre for git.
>>I did some basic performance benchmarks between v1 and v2 of PCRE.
>>Depending on whether we use git-grep or git-log v2 is 1% to 10% slower
>>than v1 when both use JIT.
> I would like to see the compilation flags for both pcre1 and pcre2? By default the library compiles without optimization options which has the same effect as -O0 option. This could be changed by setting up a CFLAGS value.

I'm using the Debian testing packages for both:

    $ dpkg -l | grep -e pcre2-8-0 -e libpcre3:|awk '{print $3}'

I couldn't find out how to get the compile flags for those, but
presumably it's some comparable middle-of-the-road value, probably
-O2. I'll try compiling from svn & report back.

> Furthermore do pcre2match called only once? Because you free the result of pcre2_match_data_create_from_pattern only in free_pcre2_pattern. If pcre2match is frequently called, you probably leak memory heavily since each call allocates a memory block. The best would be to call this function only once in compile_pcre2_pattern.

Oops, no it's called lots of times. I'll fix that. That's probably the
source of some overhead, and definitely memory leaks.

>>And also, searching on that page for "follow-up projects" show some
>>areas where I've identified git's PCRE support doing potentially
>>stupid things with PCRE, that could be replaced by offloading more
>>work on PCRE. E.g. we implement -w by manually checking for word
>>boundaries, instead of prefixing & suffixing the pattern with "\b".
> This is a difficult question since I don't know the internals of git. Yes, /\b(?:PATTERN)\b/ could be used for checking full words unless the PATTERN has some exotic features like (*ACCEPT) control verb. The PCRE2_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE can be useful if you don't need capturing brackets. Callouts can be used for some extreme text searching.

*Nod* will experiment with that.

>>Any more tips like that would be welcome, and also some tips about
>>e.g. in what cases the JIT overhead becomes not worth it, and when it
> I can answer this question. I made some measurements before:

That's great, I'll use some of those regexes for my performance test.

> There is a Compile time overhead section, which compares the JIT compilation overhead to the regular pattern compile. In general if you use a pattern a few times on a small input enabling JIT is not worth it. If your input is several megabytes or a pattern is frequently used JIT quickly becomes better. Perhaps .gitignore patterns could be an example for frequently used patterns.
> Regards,
> Zoltan