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Slow form submission - 26k+ draft posts - function improvement request

  1. Hello,

    We are running quite a few Gravity Forms forms and form submissions have slowed down significantly over time.

    I wrote a timer utility to check and see which part of the process was taking so much extra time and was a bit surprised to see that the actual entry creation was taking 26+ seconds per form submission.

    After a bit of digging, I narrowed the culprit down ( gravity forms 1.7.6 ) to the forms_model.php file, get_default_post_title function.

    Currently it looks like the following:

    private static function get_default_post_title(){
            global $wpdb;
            $title = "Untitled";
            $count = 1;
    
            $titles = $wpdb->get_col("SELECT post_title FROM $wpdb->posts WHERE post_title like '%Untitled%'");
            $titles = array_values($titles);
            while(in_array($title, $titles)){
                $title = "Untitled_$count";
                $count++;
            }
            return $title;
        }

    With 25000 records that match, a procedural language approach ( like C, C++, php, etc. ) will take a good long while to run through the loop and find an untaken value.

    It would be much better to use a set language approach ( sql ) which might look like the following:

    1. Grab the ID ( or title ) of the most recently added post
    2. Add one to the ID ( or parse the title, grab the integer, and increment it )
    3. Set the title to Untitled_N where N is the result of the integer found + 1
    4. If needed, use a small loop to check for existence of a post having that title, and increment the integer until an unused title is found
    5. return the resulting title

    Doing things this way would save a ton of processing power and time, and the fix would be rather simple.

    Obviously, it would be even better to use a custom post type for these things as that would avoid cluttering the post list with tons of drafts, allow full control over title generation ( e.g. with your own custom post type you could be certain the next unused id was available for use as a title ), etc. But that would also take a lot more work, especially to maintain backward compatibility.

    Anywise, if you could take a look at that function and revise it so that it doesn't bog larger systems down, it would be much appreciated.

    Posted 5 years ago on Tuesday July 9, 2013 | Permalink
  2. Just a quick followup to note that I did what I recommended above to our copy of gravity forms and the result speaks for itself:

    26K draft posts ( from gravity forms ).

    Original processing time for form submissions: 26-28 seconds

    New processing time for form submissions: 2-3 seconds

    Here is the re-written code ( it could be done differently ) with my debug code and error handling taken out:

    private static function get_default_post_title(){
    
    	global $wpdb;
    
    	# A default to use for the final title to return
    	$final_title = 'Untitled_1';
    
    	# Grab the most recent post that has Untitled_*
    	$sql = "SELECT ID, post_title FROM {$wpdb->posts} WHERE post_title like 'Untitled\_%' ORDER BY post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 1";
    
    	$results = $wpdb->get_results( $sql, ARRAY_A );
    	if ( !is_null($results) ) {
    		# found a match
    		if ( is_array($results) ) {
    			if ( count($results) > 0 ) {
    				$match = array_pop($results);
    				$found_title = $match['post_title'];
    				$wanted_part = str_replace('Untitled_', '', $found_title);
    				$wanted_part = (int)$wanted_part;
    				if ( $wanted_part > 0 ) {
    					# we successfully found the wanted Untitled entry
    					$wanted_part += 1;
    				} else {
    					# non numeric Untitled_* - start with the post ID + 1 when doing checks
    					$wanted_part = (int)$match['ID'] + 1;
    				}
    				# Update the default title
    				$final_title = "Untitled_{$wanted_part}";
    
    				# Set up our early break flag
    				$done_with_loop = false;
    
    				# Check for existence of the wanted part ( up to 100 times )
    				# - still much faster than looping 26k times
    				for ( $i = 0; $i < 100; $i++ ) {
    					$sql = "SELECT 1 as <code>it_exists</code> FROM {$wpdb->posts} WHERE post_title = 'Untitled_{$wanted_part}'";
    
    					$exists = $wpdb->get_results( $sql, ARRAY_A );
    					if ( is_null($exists) ) {
    						# no results returned
    						if ( !empty( $wpdb->last_error ) ) {
    							# Error with query
    						} else {
    							# simply not found
    							$final_title = "Untitled_{$wanted_part}";
    							$done_with_loop = true;
    						}
    					} else {
    						if ( is_array($exists) && count($exists) > 0 ) {
    							$test = array_pop($exists);
    							if ( '1' == "{$test['it_exists']}" ) {
    								# this exists - try the next item
    								$wanted_part += 1;
    							} else {
    								# does not exist - good to go
    								$final_title = "Untitled_{$wanted_part}";
    								$done_with_loop = true;
    							}
    						} else {
    							# no matches found
    							$final_title = "Untitled_{$wanted_part}";
    							$done_with_loop = true;
    						}
    					}
    					if ( $done_with_loop ) {
    						break;
    					}
    				}
    			} else {
    				# no match found for Untitled_* in the system
    				# - should not happen - treat as an error
    			}
    		} else {
    			# not an array
    			# - should not happen - treat as error
    		}
    	} else {
    		# no results at all likely an error
    		if ( !empty($wpdb->last_error) ) {
    			# database call error
    		} else {
    			# null result but no last error
    		}
    	}
    
    	return $final_title;
    }

    Rewriting this function in the core code base would be greatly appreciated by those of us with much larger recordsets.

    Posted 5 years ago on Tuesday July 9, 2013 | Permalink
  3. I'll bring this up to the dev team.

    Posted 5 years ago on Tuesday July 9, 2013 | Permalink
  4. Thanks much!

    Gravity forms works very nicely, but the cycling through all current posts with 26k records was getting to be a showstopper as it was causing submissions to take almost 30 seconds.

    Posted 5 years ago on Tuesday July 9, 2013 | Permalink
  5. Dev team has added this to Pivotal Tracker for discussion.

    Posted 5 years ago on Wednesday July 10, 2013 | Permalink

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