On Wed, Nov 07, 2012 at 11:32:37AM -0600, Uri Moszkowicz wrote:

>   #4  parse_object (sha1=0xb0ee98
> "\017C\205Wj\001`\254\356\307Z\332\367\353\233.\375P}D") at
> object.c:212
>   #5  0x00000000004ae9ec in handle_one_ref (path=0xb0eec0
> "refs/tags/<removed>", sha1=0xb0ee98
> "\017C\205Wj\001`\254\356\307Z\332\367\353\233.\375P}D", flags=2,
> cb_data=<optimized out>) at pack-refs.
> [...]
> It looks like handle_one_ref() is called for each ref and most result
> in a call to read_sha1_file().

Right. When generating the packed-refs file, we include the "peeled"
reference for a tag (i.e., the commit that a tag object points to). So
we have to actually read any tag objects to get the value.

The upload-pack program generates a similar list, and I recently added
some optimizations. This code path could benefit from some of them by
using "peel_ref" instead of hand-rolling the tag dereferencing. The main
optimization, though, is reusing peeled values that are already in
packed-refs; we would probably need some additional magic to reuse the
values from the source repository.


> It only takes a second or so for each call but when you have thousands
> of them (one for each ref) it adds up.

I am more concerned that it takes a second to read each tag. Even in my
pathological tests for optimizing upload-pack, peeling 50,000 refs took
only half a second.

> Adding --single-branch --branch <branch> doesn't appear to help as
> it is implemented afterwards. I would like to debug this problem
> further but am not familiar enough with the implementation to know
> what the next step is. Can anyone offer some suggestions? I don't see
> why a clone should be dependent on an O(#refs) operations.

Does this patch help? In a sample repo with 5000 annotated tags, it
drops my local clone time from 0.20s to 0.11s. Which is a big percentage
speedup, but this code isn't taking a long time in the first place for

diff --git a/pack-refs.c b/pack-refs.c
index f09a054..3344749 100644
--- a/pack-refs.c
+++ b/pack-refs.c
@@ -40,13 +40,9 @@ static int handle_one_ref(const char *path, const unsigned 
char *sha1,
        fprintf(cb->refs_file, "%s %s\n", sha1_to_hex(sha1), path);
        if (is_tag_ref) {
-               struct object *o = parse_object(sha1);
-               if (o->type == OBJ_TAG) {
-                       o = deref_tag(o, path, 0);
-                       if (o)
-                               fprintf(cb->refs_file, "^%s\n",
-                                       sha1_to_hex(o->sha1));
-               }
+               unsigned char peeled[20];
+               if (!peel_ref(path, peeled))
+                       fprintf(cb->refs_file, "^%s\n", sha1_to_hex(peeled));
        if ((cb->flags & PACK_REFS_PRUNE) && !do_not_prune(flags)) {
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