The title says it all… You can read the announcement on Michal Hruby’s blog post. Zeitgeist has been ported from Python to Vala with its latest 0.9 cycle
We started 2 weeks before the desktop summit and are now confident enough to go public alpha with our work. With the focus of the desktop environments shifting to mobiles and handhelds, we were dealing with some resistance in terms of deployments due to Python’s slow start up times. In terms of code and performance Zeitgeist is now in Vala.
What is vala?
For those who don’t know Vala, it’s source-to-source compiled to C which is then compiled with a platform’s standard C compiler, such as gcc.
It has a noticeably faster start-up time, and less memory consumption than before. A normal Zeitgeist instance that used to run for 2 days using 15-20 MB now uses around 3.5 – 7 MB (this is on my computer though).
Also Zeitgeist now allows you to read (not write) directly from the database. We will be updating our wrapper libs to support reading from the DB directly soon… This means apps that retrieve data from the DB don’t need to do it over D-Bus. However if you want to push an event into Zeitgeist you will have to do it over D-Bus. More or less you will retrieve your info faster now too…
The only thing not ported yet is the FTS extension but we managed to make it a stand-alone process that reads from the DB directly. We will have a nice awesome port soon so don’t worry. We are also working on an alternative extension with the Tracker guys for the FTS.
The fun part is, all libs are still compatible which means WE DID NOT BREAK THE API
What does this mean for me?
Zeitgeist will start up quicker, use less memory (as low as 3MB!) and searches/queries will be a lot faster (Some are up to 150% faster). Whilst you won’t be able to ‘see’ the change, you’ll certainly feel it.
Better still all your current apps that use Zeitgeist should be able to run normally with this new release. Except for GAJ where you will need to grab the latest code from trunk.
It’s very likely that the vala rewrite will appear in Ubuntu 12.04 – so whether or not you want it right now you can still expect to benefit from it in the future.
For all you Git lovers another big surprise now is that we got some mirror hosting on freedesktop.org too. We have some manpower to keep launchpad and freedesktop in sync for a while. So for all Ubuntu fans keep using Launchpad. For all you others use Bugzilla :P
This Zeitgeist release has been sponsored by: -
Last but not least I would like to thank the rest of the always awesome team for making this happen…
Now get it while its hot… Zeitgeist 0.9 Alpha
We have a little donation button on our website (zeitgeist-project.com/) if you feel like donating something to the team for the next hackfest