The aggregate plugin's locking is a suboptimal.

There should be no need to lock the wiki while aggregating -- it's annoying that long aggregate runs can block edits from happening. However, not locking would present problems. One is, if an aggregate run is happening, and the feed is removed, it could continue adding pages for that feed. Those pages would then become orphaned, and stick around, since the feed that had created them is gone, and thus there's no indication that they should be removed.

To fix that, garbage collect any pages that were created by aggregation once their feed is gone.

Are there other things that could happen while it's aggregating that it should check for?

Well, things like the feed url etc could change, and it would have to merge in such changes before saving the aggregation state. New feeds could also be added, feeds could be moved from one source page to another.

Merging that feed info seems doable, just re-load the aggregation state from disk, and set the message, lastupdate, numposts, and error fields to their new values if the feed still exists.

Another part of the mess is that it needs to avoid stacking multiple aggregate processes up if aggregation is very slow. Currently this is done by taking the lock in nonblocking mode, and not aggregating if it's locked. This has various problems, for example a page edit at the right time can prevent aggregation from happening.

Adding another lock just for aggregation could solve this. Check that lock (in checkconfig) and exit if another aggregator holds it.

The other part of the mess is that it currently does aggregation in checkconfig, locking the wiki for that, and loading state, and then dropping the lock, unloading state, and letting the render happen. Which reloads state. That state reloading is tricky to do just right.

A simple fix: Move the aggregation to the new 'render' hook. Then state would be loaded, and there would be no reason to worry about aggregating.

Or aggregation could be kept in checkconfig, like so:

  • load aggregation state
  • get list of feeds needing aggregation
  • exit if none
  • attempt to take aggregation lock, exit if another aggregation is happening
  • fork a child process to do the aggregation
    • load wiki state (needed for aggregation to run)
    • aggregate
    • lock wiki
    • reload aggregation state
    • merge in aggregation state changes
    • unlock wiki
  • drop aggregation lock
  • force rebuild of sourcepages of feeds that were aggregated
  • exit checkconfig and continue with usual refresh process