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Re: [leafnode-list] leafnode very slow on first XOVER

On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Michael Abbott wrote:

> I'm running leafnode 1.9.19, and I've noticed a curious problem: the first
> invocation of XOVER on a very large group can take a *very* long time (five
> or more minutes).
> The problem is that my news reader (Xnews) gets a little unhappy, assumes
> the server is not listening, and tries again.  And again.   And again...
> I end up with umpteen copies of leafnode all running at once, each running
> at maximum CPU!  If I kill all but one and let that one run to completion,
> then all is well, and XOVER works immediately.
> I presume that leafnode is doing work that fetchnews really ought to have
> done.  Is there some way to change things so that I don't have this problem?

I've seen similar behavior.  In my case what is happening is that
fetchnews dies with the message to the console "Broken pipe" and never
spawns the process that updates the .overview files.  As a result the
first attempt to access new articles in a group causes leafnode to update
the .overview file.  This requires opening and reading the headers of each
and every new message, and that can take quite a long time on very active

I've learned to go into my newsreader and request a header download of a
group, wait about 5 seconds (to make sure leafnode actually starts the
scan) and then cancel it.  This frees up my newsreader, but leafnode
continues until the scan is done.  I then immediately go through each
group doing the same thing, and then I go have a cup of coffee or
some such before attempting to actually READ any news.

I've often wished for either a daemon or a program that could be invoked 
from cron whose only purpose is to scan the entire news tree on a regular 
basis and make sure the .overview files are up to date.

This issue may not be technically considered a "Bug", but it does
certainly negatively affect the robustness of the leafnode package.

Michael O'Quinn

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