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gtktreeview: Data for all columns is retrieved although only a small subset of 1% is visible - Why?

Hi all,

I posted a question about gtktreeview with 2000 columns on gtk-app-devel-list. 
The question is here:

This is for the pspp project where a fork from gtktreeview was done about
15 years ago and I did some investigation to reintroduce the gtktreeview
as part of the transition to gtk3. The problem regarding cpu load is described

In the meantime I looked into the gtktreeview code
and found this comment: 

/* we *need* to set cell data on all cells before the call
 * to _has_can_focus_cell, else _has_can_focus_cell() does not
 * return a correct value.

I am not sure, but I maybe this is the reason that in our case
the data for 2000 columns is retrieved, although only 16 are visible. Does anybody
remember the reason for this full retrieval? Is this a fundamental problem which
can not be avoided? We at pspp think about the options we have. gtktreeview is
in principle very nice and there is a quite long history now about the alternatives, for
example gtksheet. Of course it is very attractive to use the mechanisms which
are already there, but at the moment I have this performance problem
with a large number of columns. Maybe I can try to help on a patch to improve
on this but some direction and/or background would be nice.

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