On 29 June 2014 05:55, Ben Hoyt firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Re is_dir etc being properties rather than methods:
I find this behaviour a bit misleading: using methods and have them return cached results. How much (implementation and/or performance and/or memory) overhead would incur by using property-like access here? I think this would underline the static nature of the data.
This would break the semantics with respect to pathlib, but they're only marginally equal anyways -- and as far as I understand it, pathlib won't cache, so I think this has a fair point here.
Indeed - using properties rather than methods may help emphasise the deliberate *difference* from pathlib in this case (i.e. value when the result was retrieved from the OS, rather than the value right now). The main benefit is that switching from using the DirEntry object to a pathlib Path will require touching all the places where the performance characteristics switch from "memory access" to "system call". This benefit is also the main downside, so I'd actually be OK with either decision on this one.
The problem with this is that properties "look free", they look just like attribute access, so you wouldn't normally handle exceptions when accessing them. But .lstat() and .is_dir() etc may do an OS call, so if you're needing to be careful with error handling, you may want to handle errors on them. Hence I think it's best practice to make them functions().
Some of us discussed this on python-dev or python-ideas a while back, and I think there was general agreement with what I've stated above and therefore they should be methods. But I'll dig up the links and add to a Rejected ideas section.
Yes, only the stuff that *never* needs a system call (regardless of OS) would be a candidate for handling as a property rather than a method call. Consistency of access would likely trump that idea anyway, but it would still be worth ensuring that the PEP is clear on which values are guaranteed to reflect the state at the time of the directory scanning and which may imply an additional stat call.
- it would be nice to see some relative performance numbers for NFS and CIFS
network shares - the additional network round trips can make excessive stat calls absolutely brutal from a speed perspective when using a network drive (that's why the stat caching added to the import system in 3.3 dramatically sped up the case of having network drives on sys.path, and why I thought AJ had a point when he was complaining about the fact we didn't expose the dirent data from os.listdir)
Don't know if you saw, but there are actually some benchmarks, including one over NFS, on the scandir GitHub page:
No, I hadn't seen those - may be worth referencing explicitly from the PEP (and if there's already a reference... oops!)
os.walk() was 23 times faster with scandir() than the current listdir() + stat() implementation on the Windows NFS file system I tried. Pretty good speedup!