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  1. Caching mdoc's ASP.NET-generated HTML - Jonathan Pryor's web log
    1. Caching mdoc's ASP.NET-generated HTML

Caching mdoc's ASP.NET-generated HTML - Jonathan Pryor's web log

« Configuring the ASP.NET front-end for mdoc | Main | Assembly Versioning with mdoc »

Caching mdoc's ASP.NET-generated HTML

Last time we discussed configuring the ASP.NET front-end to display monodoc documentation. The display of extension methods within monodoc and the ASP.NET front-end is fully dynamic. This has it's pros and cons.

On the pro side, if/when you install additional assembled documentatation sources, those sources will be searched for extension methods and they will be shown on all matching types. This is very cool.

On the con side, searching for the extension methods and converting them into HTML takes time -- there is a noticable delay when viewing all members of a type if there are lots of extension methods. On heavily loaded servers, this may be detrimental to overall performance.

If you're running the ASP.NET front-end, you're not regularly adding documentation, and you have Mono 2.6, you can use the mdoc export-html-webdoc command to pre-render the HTML files and cache the results. This will speed up future rendering.

For example, consider the url http://localhost:8080/index.aspx?link=T:System.Collections.Generic.List`1/* (which shows all of the List<T> members). This is a frameset, and the important frame here is http://localhost:8080/monodoc.ashx?link=T:System.Collections.Generic.List`1/* which contains the member listing (which includes extension methods). On my machine, it takes ~2.0s to download this page:

$ time curl -s \
	'http://localhost:8080/monodoc.ashx?link=T:System.Collections.Generic.List`1/*' \
	> /dev/null

real	0m2.021s
user	0m0.003s
sys	0m0.002s

In a world where links need to take less than 0.1 seconds to be responsive, this is...pretty bad.

After running mdoc export-html-webdoc (which contains the List<T> docs):

$ time curl -s \
	'http://localhost:8080/monodoc.ashx?link=T:System.Collections.Generic.List`1/*' \
	> /dev/null

real	0m0.051s
user	0m0.003s
sys	0m0.006s

That's nearly 40x faster, and within the 0.1s guideline.

Cache Generation: to generate the cache files, run mdoc export-html-web ASSEMBLED-FILES. ASSEMBLED-FILES consists of the .tree or .zip files which are generated by mdoc assemble and have been installed into $prefix/lib/monodoc/sources:

$ mdoc export-html-webdoc $prefix/lib/monodoc/sources/

(Where $prefix is your Mono installation prefix, e.g. /usr/lib/monodoc/sources/

This will create a directory tree within $prefix/lib/monodoc/sources/cache/Demo. Restarting the ASP.NET front-end will allow it to use the cache.

If you don't want to generate the cache in another directory, use the -o=PREFIX option. This is useful if you're updating an existing cache on a live server and you don't want to overwrite/replace the existing cache (it's a live server!) -- generate the cache elsewhere, then move the files when the server is offline.

If you have lots of time on your hands, you could process all assembled documentation with:

$ mdoc export-html-webdoc $prefix/lib/monodoc/sources/*.zip

Limitations: It should be noted that this is full of limitations, so you should only use it if performance is really important. Limitations include:

Next time, we'll cover mdoc's support for assembly versioning.

Posted on 15 Jan 2010 | Path: /development/mono/mdoc/ | Permalink
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