[mapserver-dev] Speed in accessing World .wld files varies across disk systems

Paul Ramsey pramsey at cleverelephant.ca
Fri Oct 17 18:44:23 EDT 2008

Here's the function in question:


As you can see, it doesn't do a directory search, though it does work
its way through a number of possible extension options. Note that
"wld" is the *first* option though, so that's not your problem.


On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 3:29 PM, Chris Galli <cgalli at xcskies.com> wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> I know the above statement seems like it deserves an obvious answer, so
> first let me say that I understand the complexities of disk implementations
> enough to realize that speed depends on a tremendous amount of factors and
> so cannot be easily discussed in terms of absolutes when comparing different
> disk systems. With that said, however, I'm seeing behaviour that leads me to
> believe the discovery process for .wld files can be improved in mapserv.
> I've tested with V 4.10 and 5.2 and they produce identical results.
> Here's the crux:
> When rendering raster images (say png files) which use .wld world files via
> the cgi interface, I get wildly different response times on different linux
> systems. After a lengthy discovery process of why this was, I have come to
> the conclusion that mapserv is probably not targeting wld files directly on
> the file system, and instead looking for matching wld files for raster
> images by using some type of 'wild card' or other inefficient scan of the
> file's current directory.
> For example, if I place a single raster png file called world.png with a
> world.wld in an empty directory and turn on mapserver debug, response times
> seem reasonable. As I increase the amount of files within the directory, the
> mapserv raster rendering becomes increasingly slower (asking for a single
> 256x256 tile from a 1MB png file). When I perform the same test on another
> system, I barely see a slowdown in performance. Why? Because one disk system
> is much more robust with directory caching and disk-to-memory hardware. Fair
> enough. But when I run the same tests on tiff files, both systems produce
> identical results to within a few milliseconds. This implies that wld files
> are likely not being targeted efficiently.
> In addition to the above, I have some custom python code that accesses the
> exact same png raster files and servers them up to the exact extents and
> tile size as does mapserv using the GD libs.  And that code was actually
> returning tiles faster on the system which mapserv was running so poorly. My
> code expects a file to exist and so does not need to 'discover' it, making
> the process much more efficient.
> Does anyone know or suspect that the above is true? If so, how does one go
> about providing more details and elevating this to a potential
> change/enhancement?
> Thanks!
> -Chris
> --
> View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/Speed-in-accessing-World-.wld-files-varies-across-disk-systems-tp20042027p20042027.html
> Sent from the Mapserver - Dev mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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