Speed of news header collection

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Steve B, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Steve B

    Steve B Guest

    Forte Free Agent, version 1.93.

    alt.quotations 540 headers, collected in 0min 06 sec.
    nz.comp 1067 headers 1 min 07 secs.
    alt.censorship 149 headers 0 min 05 secs.

    nz.general 165 headers 1 min 30 secs.

    nz.general seems disturbingly slow by comparison with the other
    groups, with nz.comp a "strong" second.

    This has only been showing, BTW, since I moved from Karori to the
    Terrace and got hung off a building LAN rather than a dedicated
    connection, which may or may not be relevant. The speed is supposed to
    have increased from an "obsolete" 128 Kbit/s to 256. Provider
    TelstraClearSaturnParadise cable in both instances

    At first I thought there was a general slowdown in news collection,
    and this may be so to a small extent; but nz.general seems to suffer
    particularly and disproportionately from the problem.

    Is length and complexity of threads a factor, perhaps (alt censorship
    has some just as complex to my eye, though an objective measurement
    would take time I do not have.

    Any ideas?

    Steve B.
    Steve B, Jan 29, 2004
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  2. Steve B

    Warwick Guest

    The first thing I noticed when I changed from free agent to 40tude Dialog
    was the difference in speed in dloading headers. I posted here about it, I
    also have used two different ISP's recently and xtra's news server is
    slower than Ihugs. However Dialog is obvioiusly threading the header
    requests and this makes a hell of a difference in dload time.

    As you say, measuring performance in this area is difficult, tho I would
    be surprised if Headers did vary in length and complexity all that much.

    Warwick, Jan 29, 2004
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  3. Steve B

    -[Myth]- Guest

    In Dialog setting you can set Maximum threads which i set to 4 (the maximum
    number of connections news.xtra.co.nz allows) and this gives me excellent
    -[Myth]-, Jan 29, 2004
  4. Thread length can have an impact on header size as the References: line
    tends to grow.

    Total number of postings in the group will have an impact too - the news
    server will have to work harder to retrieve 150 headers from a group with
    bignum articles than from a group with a few hundred articles.
    Geoff McCaughan, Jan 29, 2004
  5. Steve B

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 06:01:53 +1300, in article
    Have you looked at this setting?

    In Free Agent 1.93, go to "Group -> Default Properties -> What to Purge".
    If there is a check mark in the setting "Always get complete list of
    server's available messages", then remove the check mark.

    Having this setting turned on will slow down retrieval of headers,
    especially so in groups with a long retention time -- such as the
    nz.* groups on New Zealand ISP's news servers.

    Removing the check mark will speed up retrieval of headers.

    Perhaps because the "complete list of server's available messages"
    is very large in nz.general, and so takes that much longer for Free
    Agent to download.

    If you look at the Agent status bar when Agent gets new headers in
    a group, you will see that there are two separate stages.

    1. "Retrieving up to 165 new headers for nz.general"
    2. "Updating group nz.general".

    You tell us which stage is the one that takes the long time in
    nz.general and nz.comp.

    Stage 1 is affected by the number of new headers (download time)
    and whether you have the setting "Always get complete list of
    server's available messages" turned on (again, download time).

    Stage 2 is affected by the number of existing headers in your
    message list. If the complexity of threads has an effect,
    it will have an effect on stage 2.

    See above.


    Politics is the art of getting power and
    privilege without possessing merit.
    Ralph Fox, Jan 30, 2004
  6. Steve B

    Tarla Guest

    You wonderful wonderful man! It's like lightning now!
    I wanted to be a nun when I was a little girl. They were always nice
    to me, and they were smart. They never took shit from anyone, not even
    the priests. They were like a pack of wolves, they worked as a team
    and took no prisoners. They ate what they killed.

    - Rev. Mutha Tarla Star
    Tarla, Jan 30, 2004
  7. Interesting... this same problem pops up every few months... maybe it
    should be the default setting?
    T.N.O. - Dave.net.nz, Jan 30, 2004
  8. Steve B

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 23:35:04 +1300, in article
    You're welcome.
    FYI there is a slight trade-off in turning this setting off.
    IMO the trade-off is worth it.

    Where any of your "what to purge" settings are "when message
    is no longer available", there is an increased likelihood
    that a few headers may not be purged even when those messages
    are no longer available on your server.
    If that doesn't mean anything to you, don't worry about it.


    You don't win wars by dying for your country.
    You win by making the other poor bastard die for his country.
    Ralph Fox, Jan 31, 2004
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Guest

    Only 19 headers on last refresh, but they came down in a flash (ie to
    short a time to register). Normally would have taken at least a few

    I think you've fixed the problem.

    Thanks very much.

    Steve B.
    Steve B, Feb 1, 2004
  10. Steve B

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On Sun, 01 Feb 2004 17:45:19 +1300, in article
    You're welcome.
    Ralph Fox, Feb 1, 2004
  11. Steve B

    Ralph Fox Guest

    Maybe it should. It would certainly eliminate this problem.

    OTOH Forte may be thinking of all those people on cable who
    (if it was ON by default) would not notice the extra download time,
    but who (if it was OFF by default) would notice that the message
    list contained more headers without bodies that became "no longer
    available" when trying to download the body.
    Ralph Fox, Feb 1, 2004
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