I am trying to improve performance of the standard properties editor to handle huge properties files (tens of thousands lines) which we have. The problem is that if you start editing such a big properties file, you get eventual lock ups (up to 20-30 seconds). After spending some time debugging/profiling, I tracked the issue to the Psi trees diffing algorithm. It looks like the problem is that when you add property at the end, the algorithm ends up generating too many diff's.
Looking at the DiffTree#compareLevel I noticed one subtle fact in the implementation. First it tries to go backwards (from the end to the beginning of the tree). Therefore, when it compares two PropertiesElementTypes#PROPERTIES_LIST's, it gets at the position where I added a new property. Starting from that, it enters some sort of "one off" state thinking that all properties before an added one are changed. For example, given the file:
if I add property after property C:
the algorithm compares C to newProp, then B to C, then A to B, etc, up to the beginning of the file. Given the huge size of the properties file, it ends up with about ~20k of changes causing a major slowdown.
If I make this algorithm to leave first loop (one, that goes backwards) after encountering added property (by providing my own comparator that returns ThreeState.NO if property name does not match), it goes into the second loop (one that goes from the beginning to the end). Now the key part is that the second loop is actually smart enough to detect this "one off" difference between old Psi tree and new Psi tree and generates reasonably small amount of differences.
So, the question is, shouldn't the first loop try to match nodes using the same way as the second one?
P.S. With my custom comparator put into PsiBuilderImpl, the properties editor becomes responsive again -- no lockups. I also converted parser to use LighterASTNode, but given that I wasn't able to find any documentation telling the difference between ASTNodes and LighterASTNodes, I don't know if that makes difference, too.