I'm not sure where the bottleneck is for running ikiwiki over a site like my blog Natalian, though I like to think the markdown processing could be speeded up by the support of the C implementation of Markdown called Sundown.
Sundown doesn't appear to have Perl bindings, so the cost of calling a separate process could wipe out some or all of the speed gain. It might be worth looking into Text::Upskirt instead, which uses the Upskirt library which Sundown appears to be derived from. -- KathrynAndersen
It would be fairly easy to write a perl binding for sundown. For that matter, Text::Upskirt could be adapted to it. I am waiting for any of upskirt, sundown and perl bindings to get into Debian, then I will see about making ikiwiki use them.
For now, I have added discount support to ikiwiki. This does speed up markdown rendering by up to 40x, although when building a site ikiwiki in practice does other work, so the gains are less impressive. Building the ikiwiki doc wiki went from 62 to 45 seconds. The lack of a Debian package of Text::Markdown::Discount means this is not used by default yet.
(Upskirt, discount... Who comes up with these names? Discount also features a "NOPANTS" option.) --Joey
Thanks for doing this; it's given a well-needed speedup to my huge site.
(At least "Discount" is related to "Mark Down" but I don't fathom "Upskirt" either.) --KathrynAndersen