Re: Question about rendering time
Well every millisecond on the output does matter and the reasons you listed are very valid, but on heavily loaded servers, I have to believe the biggest weakness is the sheer number of files that have to seek and load. If they aren’t in the server’s file cache (dreamhost might have 1000 virtual hosts per node or more) that can cause long delays. Even if using an opcode cache, the cache still has to check the file date/size in the OS before it allows execution.
But even bbpress’s output template requires 3+ files to be included. SMF does it entirely differently in one single file.
I’ve built a prototype “fastload” plugin that concatinates two pools of files:
1. includes (except a few outside the general block in bb-settings)
2. all plugins
It actually works to some degree to speed things up on dreamhost when they are are at insane loads.
By reducing the number of files to seek from 40 to less than 10 the page load times are much better.