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Re: [PATCH v1 1/4] fastindex: speed up index load through parallelization

Ben Peart <peartben@xxxxxxxxx> writes:

> The proposed format for extensions (ie having both a header and a
> footer with name and size) in the current patch already enables having
> multiple extensions that can be parsed forward or backward.  Any
> extensions that would want to be parse-able in reverse would just all
> need to be written one after the other after right before the trailing
> SHA1 (and of course, include the proper footer).

In other words, anything that wants to be scannable from the tail is
welcome to reimplement the same validation structure used by IEOT to
check the section specific sanity constraint, and this series is not
interested in introducing a more general infrastructure to make it
easy for code that want to find where each extension section in the
file begins without pasing the body of the index.

I find it somewhat unsatisfactory in that it is a fundamental change
to allow jumping to the start of an extension section from the tail
that can benefit any future codepath, and have expected a feature
neutral extension whose sole purpose is to do so [*1*].

That way, extension sections whose names are all-caps can stay to be
optional, even if they allow locating from the tail of the file.  If
you require them to implement the same validation struture as IEOT
to perform section specific sanity constraint and also require them
to be placed consecutively at the end, the reader MUST know about
all such extensions---otherwise they cannot scan backwards and find
ones that appear before an unknown but optional one.  If you keep an
extension section at the end whose sole purpose is to point at the
beginning of extension sections, the reader can then scan forward as
usual, skipping over unknown but optional ones, and reading your
IEOT can merely be an user (and the first user) of that more generic
feature that is futureproof, no?