Re: Mercurial 0.3 vs git benchmarks

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 22:04:48 EST

On Mon, 25 Apr 2005, Mike Taht wrote:
> One difference is probably - mercurial appears to be using zlib's
> *default* compression of 6....
> using zlib compression of 9 really impacts git...

I agree that it will hurt for big changes, but since I really do believe
that most changes are just a couple of files, I don't believe it matters
for those.

I forget what the exact numbers were, but I did some timings on plain
"gzip", and it basically said that doing gzip on a medium-sized file was
not that different for -6 and -9. Why? Because most of the overhead was
elsewhere ;)

Oh, well, I just re-created some numbers. This wasn't exactly what I did
last time I tested it, but it's conceptually the same thing:

torvalds@ppc970:~> time gzip -9 < v2.6/linux/kernel/sched.c > /dev/null
real 0m0.018s
user 0m0.018s
sys 0m0.000s

torvalds@ppc970:~> time gzip -6 < v2.6/linux/kernel/sched.c > /dev/null
real 0m0.015s
user 0m0.013s
sys 0m0.001s

ie there's a 0.003 second difference, which is certainly noticeable, and
would be hugely noticeable if you did a lot of these. But in my world-view
(which is what git is optimized for), the common case is that you usually
end up compressing maybe five-ten files, so the _compression_ overhead is
not that huge compared to all the other stuff.

But yes, testing git on big changes will test exactly the things that git
isn't optimized for. I think git will normally hold up pretty well (ie it
will still beat anything that isn't designed for speed, and will be
comparable to things that _are_), but it's not what I'm interested in
optimizing for.

That said - these days we can trivially change over to a "zlib -6"
compression, and nothing should ever notice. So if somebody wants to
test it, it should be fairly easy to just compare side-by-side: the
results should be identical.

The easiest test-case is Andrew's 198-patch patch-bomb on linux-kernel a
few weeks ago: they all apply cleanly to 2.6.12-rc2 (in order), and you
can use my "dotest" script to automate the test..

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at