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Bug 20358 - Suggest in layers: <folder name="..." ordered="true">
Summary: Suggest in layers: <folder name="..." ordered="true">
Alias: None
Product: platform
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Filesystems (show other bugs)
Version: 3.x
Hardware: PC Linux
: P3 blocker (vote)
Assignee: rmatous
Depends on: 103187
  Show dependency tree
Reported: 2002-02-08 13:24 UTC by Jesse Glick
Modified: 2008-12-22 09:50 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Exception Reporter:

A patch that modifies the DataFolders on SystemFileSystem to use original sorting provided by XMLFS (828 bytes, patch)
2002-04-04 08:01 UTC, Jaroslav Tulach
Details | Diff

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Description Jesse Glick 2002-02-08 13:24:35 UTC
Might be a good idea for XMLFileSystem to support an optional 'ordered' attr on
folders (values 'true' or 'false'). Would require a 1.2 filesystems DTD I suppose.

If true, the XMLFS would autogenerate relative ordering constraints, e.g.:

<folder name="foo" ordered="true">
    <file name="a"/>
    <file name="b"/>
    <file name="c"/>

is shorthand for:

<folder name="foo" ordered="false">
    <file name="a"/>
    <attr name="a/b" boolvalue="true"/>
    <file name="b"/>
    <attr name="b/c" boolvalue="true"/>
    <file name="c"/>

For example, could be used in menu folders and other places where order is
significant and you are listing a lot of files which you want in the mentioned

I know this is putting a feature intended for datasystems into the filesystems
code, which is not ideal. However advantages are:

1. Easier to look at and understand.

2. Less error-prone when many files are present, or when moving around files.

3. Potentially more efficient, since XMLFS does not have to parse dozens of
ordering <attr>s and keep them in memory. It can produce these attrs on demand
and hold the information efficiently. The XML parser has less to parse.

If implemented, existing module layers should of course be updated to use the
new attribute.
Comment 1 Petr Nejedly 2002-02-11 14:59:53 UTC
Relieving XMLFS from parsing ordering attributes can speed it
up by 100ms for the current set of modules which could mean
by as much as 15-25% of the parsing time in the ideal case, see
my todays' comments by #20168
Comment 2 Petr Nejedly 2002-02-26 11:20:40 UTC
We'll also need to change the XMLFS merging code to not sort the items
by name and to keep the declared order during parsing as well.
I've placed the sorting there only to help P.Hrebejk verify
his platform related core layer split, it is itself nod needed.
See issue 20168
Comment 3 Jesse Glick 2002-02-26 12:05:39 UTC
It gets sticky to combine with XMLFS merging + caching, I guess. One
merged folder might have ordered=true and the other not. Perhaps:

1. At *parse* time, <folder ordered="true"> generates just a flag in
the folder ref object, and asking for file attributes returns them on

2. At merge time, these flags are translated to real attrs, and if a
folder with n files has n-1 ordering attrs, where they can be placed
in a line, the folder is written out with ordered="true" (otherwise
all attrs written out).

3. Folder ordering code optimistically looks first for a folder with
n-1 ordering attrs that can be put in a line, and only if this is not
true does it sort the hard way.
Comment 4 Jaroslav Tulach 2002-02-26 13:20:10 UTC
It has been already realized that putting this datasystem stuff into
filesystem layer is not good idea. Could we make the ordering
functionality pluggable and implement it just in

Probably all we need to do is to give the creator of XMLFS ability to
generate artificial attributes...
Comment 5 Jesse Glick 2002-02-26 14:45:32 UTC
Then issue #18829 could be generalized to making ordering pluggable
(DataSystems API enhancement), where core supplies the impl with
relative ordering constraints.

I'm not sure how easy it would be to modify XMLFileSystem here;
perhaps to keep the DTD clean, use a pseudo file attribute rather than
the originally suggested attr on <folder>:

<folder name="foo">
  <attr name="ordered" boolvalue="true"/>

then the core clients of XMLFileSystem would supply a "file convertor"
permitting the 'ordered' attr to be converted to relative attrs (or
some privately-named attr giving a list of files in the folder) at
parse time, rather than merge time. Don't know how to handle cache
merging this way however.
Comment 6 Petr Nejedly 2002-02-28 11:18:14 UTC
OK, let's divide the problems into more subproblems.
I have my idea so it is more targetted at it:

At first, we need the XMLFS to keep the declared order
during the parsing. Everything says and falls with this.
We also need to keep the order during MFS propagation
(the same file overriden on LocalFS have to be at the same
position, but this may be no-issue because of OpenIDE-Folder-Order
attribute). We don't need an attribute to say that the folder
is sorted, do we?

At second, we need to keep the order in the merged layer
for the same reason, only one start later.

Now we're done with not merged folders like component palette.
(DF will just keep the ordering)

At second and half, we have to add the layer information
to the merged XMLFS. The layer information is lost during
merging but will be needed for XMLFS autolocalization
for looking up the right bundle (see issue 18310)
The layer information can be stored as an attribute stating
where the layer have changed, example:
<folder name="merged">
  <file name="A"/>
  <file name="B"/>
<folder name="merged">
  <file name="C"/>
  <file name="D"/>

<folder name="merged">
  <file name="A"/>
  <file name="B"/>
  <file name="C"/>
  <file name="D"/>
  <attr name="layerfrom:A" stringvalue="first.xml"/>
  <attr name="layerfrom:C" stringvalue="second.xml"/>
<attr name="layerfrom:merged" stringvalue="first.xml,second.xml"/>

The nice thing about this is that you have blocks that are
presorted (there are implicit attrs A/B=true and C/D=true)
and you can still change the position by ordering attrs
(e.g. A/C=true, D/B=true will give you A,C,D,B) 
The bad thing about this it that you would have to cancel
nonexisting attributes if you'd like to switch A with B
from other module (branding), but still doable.
The other bad thing (not connected with ordering)
is that the XMLFS would have to understand the layerfrom:
attributes to be able to properly return "layers" virtual
attribute as it is returning now.

Hmm, that are my ideas, the bottom line is to not trash the order
of files to begin with.
Comment 7 Jaroslav Tulach 2002-02-28 16:26:55 UTC
My observation1: Since Jesse implemented cache, we do not need any
hooks into XMLFS we can do most of the generation stuff during
generating the cache.

My observation2: Of course XMLFS has to keep the order of children as
they were read form .xml file

My observation3: When generating the cache we may not need to use
XMLFS.setURLs (...) but multiple XMLFS with just one URL. This will
help to identify layer the FileObject is read from

My observation4: If we continue to use setURLs (...) we can still
identify the layer by calling FileObject.getAttribute ("layers");

My observation5: In order to satisfy issue 18829 the cache could add
attributes according to the displaynames of the fileobjects...
Comment 8 Petr Nejedly 2002-03-04 09:08:38 UTC
My observation #0:
We will either need to store layers attribute for each file
in the cache or have a way how to derive it from other informations.

And placing the physical attributes in the cache is equivalent
of leaving SFS.* attributes there.

So the problem is not with merging/cache creation but rather
with a later cached run.
Oh, I think I see where you're heading to:
The cache will not be a single merged XML layer but rather
a storage of all the information from the XMLFS so it would
contain, say, separate preparsed layers in a single file.

ad 5) Do you think the cache impl would be able to reach
the display names during its generation?
And what about starting the IDE in different locale?
(i.e. will the locale info be part of the cache hash?)
Comment 9 Jesse Glick 2002-03-04 10:08:28 UTC
A couple of notes:

1. If we implement the cache using a random-access binary DB file, we
need not worry how much extra info we store per file. So we can
premerge layers and still keep info about layer of origin without
penalty; or we could leave semantics of
SystemFileSystem.localizingBundle as it is without performance penalty.

2. Current cache design means that the hash is computed from actual
URLs, so switching locale/branding will automatically recreate the cache.

I don't understand purpose of Yarda's #2 BTW. If you have
ordered="true" we need to keep info about that ordering, if not we
don't; but even when we do keep info about the ordering, you need to
consider merged ordering constraints from several layers anyway.

Also if we implement a binary layer cache, XMLFileSystem would not
actually be used at runtime at all, unless some module used it for
some random purpose, or unless caching is off on some layer (e.g.
userdir modules which currently get no layer cache, since they are in
a different FS, for reasons still a mystery to me).
Comment 10 rmatous 2002-03-04 15:38:28 UTC
I suggest to postpone Milestone to 4.0 because:
1/ original idea evolved and was fundamentally changed and not
finalized yet

Originaly was planned to add one attribute
and keep ordering in XMLFileSystem as is (already implemented).  

Comment 11 Petr Nejedly 2002-03-04 17:31:41 UTC
Jesse, ad 2)
>2. Current cache design means that the hash is computed from actual
> URLs, so switching locale/branding will automatically recreate the
> cache.
Not true. If I don't have locale variants of layers (which is
true for all modules I know about), the the URLs will be the same
under different locales. Only SFS should use different bundle
to compute display names over the same content of XFS.
This is why you can't "add attributes according to the displaynames
of the fileobjects". Or did I misunderstood Yarda's intentions?
Comment 12 Jesse Glick 2002-03-04 19:14:34 UTC
True, if you do not have a locale variant of the layer, the cache will
not be changed according to locale. So any caching of display names
has to use a different mechanism, I suppose.

Is it really that important to cache display names though? Assuming we
can make storage of the SystemFileSystem.localizingBundle attribute
unnecessary or optimized for speed/memory, is there much advantage in
caching the name? Only a handful of files will really be asked for
their display names normally, so few bundles need be loaded for them;
and I would only expect alphabetical folder ordering to be used for a
few folders, and not generally during startup at all.
Comment 13 Jaroslav Tulach 2002-04-04 08:01:10 UTC
Created attachment 5285 [details]
A patch that modifies the DataFolders on SystemFileSystem to use original sorting provided by XMLFS
Comment 14 Jaroslav Tulach 2002-04-15 14:04:37 UTC
So what, do you think that I should apply my patch? It guarantees that
all files provided by one module are in correct order and thus I
believe it is better than the current state. Let me know today if you
do not believe I should integrate it.
Comment 15 Petr Nejedly 2002-04-15 14:54:16 UTC
Go ahead.
I think it is better than nothing.
Till now, no particular order for layer files was specified
if there were no ordering attributes...
Comment 16 rmatous 2002-04-16 13:38:45 UTC
I commited Jarda`s patch with tiny change: name replaced with
attrName. if ("OpenIDE-Folder-SortMode".equals (attrName) ...

Checking in;
/cvs/core/src/org/netbeans/core/projects/,v  <--
new revision: 1.7; previous revision: 1.6

So, now I consider this bug as fixed.
Comment 17 Jan Zajicek 2002-04-18 14:02:16 UTC
Comment 18 Jesse Glick 2002-08-01 17:38:58 UTC
I guess I wasn't paying too much attention to this bug, but it is
listed as fixed and even appears in the new features list, and I don't
know what the fix actually was! Please explain:

1. What precisely is the new behavior, from the perspective of a
module developer? [My guess: no clearly describable behavior.]

2. Is this documented anywhere? Listed in apichanges.xml? [My guess: no.]

3. Are there unit tests written to ensure it continues to work? [My
guess: no.]

4. Does it work even with layer caching (which is on by default)? [My
guess: probably not.]

5. Has it been tested heavily to ensure that it works correctly when
more than one module adds to a given folder? I.e. if M1 and M2 both
add files to folder F, M1 adding F1, F2, and F3, M2 adding F4 and F5,
and M2 specifies F5/F1=true, then the system must ensure the order
F4-F5-F1-F2-F3. Does it? Etc. [My guess: never been tried, doesn't work.]

6. Are there any actual modules converted to use this new feature that
could be looked at for an example? [My guess: no.] usersguide would be
an obvious test candidate since it has dozens of tips of the day which
need strict ordering.
Comment 19 Jesse Glick 2002-08-26 19:40:40 UTC
Reopening until someone who knows more about this reads my previous
set of comments and responds somehow... Jan Zajicek marked this
VERIFIED but I see no further information about *how* it was verified,
other than that a CVS commit was made.

Also why does it matter to add this file attr to FixedFileSystem? Only
 a handful of folders in the SFS come from FFS. For example,
Services/Hidden/, UI/Runtime/. If you have some random folder, e.g.

    <folder name="Foo">
        <file name="x"/>
        <file name="y"/>
        <file name="z"/>

what effect would this have?

I just tried in a dev build installing a module with this layer:

  <folder name="foo">
    <file name="one"/>
    <file name="two"/>
    <file name="three"/>
    <file name="four"/>
    <file name="five"/>
    <file name="six"/>
    <file name="seven"/>
    <file name="eight"/>
    <file name="nine"/>
    <file name="ten"/>

In the Explorer in the system file system under foo/ I see:


I.e. random order.
Comment 20 Jaroslav Tulach 2002-08-30 08:19:42 UTC
Seemed to work for me. Do not know what happened.
Comment 21 Jesse Glick 2002-12-12 15:21:19 UTC
Update: with the binary cache manager, storing information from each
file such as its origin layer should no longer be significant
overhead. (Only paid when you access the file, and not much then.) Can
reevaluate this RFE, and also the one re. not requiring
SFS.localizingBundle. It was unfeasible under the XML cache manager to
store an "origin" attr for every layer file, since that would cause
the cache size to balloon, increasing load time significantly, as well
as standing heap consumption.
Comment 22 Jesse Glick 2007-05-15 21:02:37 UTC
Probably obsolete due to issue #103187.