Provided by: public-inbox_1.8.0-1_all bug


       public-inbox-extindex-format - external index format description


       The extindex is an index-only evolution of the per-inbox SQLite and Xapian indices used by
       public-inbox-v2-format(5) and public-inbox-v1-format(5).  It exists to facilitate searches
       across multiple inboxes as well as to reduce index space when messages are cross-posted to
       several existing inboxes.

       It transparently indexes messages across any combination of v1 and v2 inboxes and data
       about inboxes themselves.


       While inspired by v2, there is no git blob storage nor "msgmap.sqlite3" DB.

       Instead, there is an "ALL.git" (all caps) git repo which treats every indexed v1 inbox or
       v2 epoch as a git alternate.

       As with v2 inboxes, it uses "over.sqlite3" and Xapian "shards" for WWW and IMAP use.
       Several exclusive new tables are added to deal with "XREF3 DEDUPLICATION" and metadata.

       Unlike v1 and v2 inboxes, it is NOT designed to map to a NNTP newsgroup.  Thus it lacks
       "msgmap.sqlite3" to enforce the unique Message-ID requirement of NNTP.

         $SCHEMA_VERSION - DB schema version (for Xapian)
         $SHARD - Integer starting with 0 based on parallelism

         foo/                              # "foo" is the name of the index
         - ei.lock                         # lock file to protect global state
         - ALL.git                         # empty, alternates for inboxes
         - ei$SCHEMA_VERSION/$SHARD        # per-shard Xapian DB
         - ei$SCHEMA_VERSION/over.sqlite3  # overview DB for WWW, IMAP
         - ei$SCHEMA_VERSION/misc          # misc Xapian DB

       File and directory names are intentionally different from analogous v2 names to ensure
       extindex and v2 inboxes can easily be distinguished from each other.

       Due to cross-posted messages being the norm in the large Linux kernel development
       community and Xapian indices being the primary consumer of storage, it makes sense to
       deduplicate indexing as much as possible.

       The internal storage format is based on the NNTP "Xref" tuple, but with the addition of a
       third element: the git blob OID.  Thus the triple is expressed in string form as:


       If no "newsgroup" is configured for an inbox, the "inboxdir" of the inbox is used.

       This data is stored in the "xref3" table of over.sqlite3.

   misc XAPIAN DB
       In addition to the numeric Xapian shards for indexing messages, there is a new, in-
       development Xapian index for storing data about inboxes themselves and other non-message
       data.  This index allows us to speed up operations involving hundreds or thousands of


       In addition to providing cross-inbox search capabilities, it can also replace per-inbox
       Xapian shards (but not per-inbox over.sqlite3).  This allows reduction in disk space, open
       file handles, and associated memory use.


       Relocating v1 and v2 inboxes on the filesystem will require extindex to be garbage-
       collected and/or reindexed.

       Configuring and maintaining stable "newsgroup" names before any messages are indexed from
       every inbox can avoid expensive reindexing and rely exclusively on GC.


       flock(2) locking exclusively locks the empty ei.lock file for all non-atomic operations.


       Thanks to the Linux Foundation for sponsoring the development and testing.


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