hud-service sends insane number of dbus messages

Bug #957022 reported by desrt on 2012-03-16
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Application Menu Indicator
Fix Released
Charles Kerr
indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu)
Charles Kerr

Bug Description

An absolutely massive number of dbus messages are sent as a result of the user pressing:

  <alt> <u> <alt>

(ie: opening the hud, doing a single-letter query, closing the hud).

Some checking with dbus-monitor shows this to be about 400 messages.

This got a lot worse recently as a result of sending "opened"/"closed" messages to every single dbusmenu submenu on the entire system (active window + system indicators + appindicators) as a result of doing each search.

We have some ideas for reducing this:

a) Unity send 'CloseQuery' followed by 'StartQuery' on each keystroke of the search. hud-service immediately closes the menus on 'CloseQuery' just to re-open them again on the next 'StartQuery'. There are two ways we can fix this. First is to modify the dbus protocol to have a method to change the query string without destroying it. Second is to have a short timeout in the HUD to prevent the items from being immediately closed (in case another query comes soon).

b) dbusmenu should provide some mechanism of knowing when "opened"/"closed"/about-to-show is not necessary so we can skip it for clients that will ignore it anyway.

c) dbusmenu client should merge events -- if we send a whole batch of "opened" messages to a single client in one mainloop iteration then it should use an idle to send them out as a single messages

d) we should stop requesting dbus method call replies when we don't need them -- this may require a GLib patch

We need to track our progress. The number of dbus messages involved can be measured like so:

 - open a terminal
 - open the hud and do a search, just to make sure the terminal's menus are precached
 - dbus-monitor &> logfile
 - <alt> u <alt>
 - ^C
 - grep '^[^ ]' logfile | wc -l

the last line takes advantage of the fact that each non-indented line in the logfile represents a single message (with the indented lines giving details).

Related branches

desrt (desrt) on 2012-03-16
Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
milestone: none → ubuntu-12.04-beta-2
desrt (desrt) wrote :

Okay. '(a)' is fixed in the hud-rewrite branch. It doesn't have much impact on the single-letter case, but it has a huge impact on multi-letter searches.

Olli Ries (ories) on 2012-03-27
Changed in indicator-appmenu:
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → In Progress
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Canonical Desktop Experience Team (canonical-dx-team)
milestone: ubuntu-12.04-beta-2 → ubuntu-12.04
tags: added: rls-mgr-p-tracking
Charles Kerr (charlesk) on 2012-04-04
Changed in indicator-appmenu:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
David Barth (dbarth) on 2012-04-06
Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
Changed in indicator-appmenu:
assignee: nobody → Charles Kerr (charlesk)
Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
assignee: Canonical Desktop Experience Team (canonical-dx-team) → Charles Kerr (charlesk)
desrt (desrt) wrote :

It's my opinion that this issue is substantially improved, but not yet fixed.

Items 'a', 'c', 'd' have all been fixed, but item 'b' is still outstanding.

Charles Kerr (charlesk) on 2012-04-12
Changed in indicator-appmenu:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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