While working on the Woodchuck support in gPodder, I decided to profile the code. Reading the Python manual, I thought it would be as easy as:

    import cProfile

On both Debian and Maemo, this results in an import error:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
    File "/usr/lib/python2.6/cProfile.py", line 36, in run
      result = prof.print_stats(sort)
    File "/usr/lib/python2.6/cProfile.py", line 80, in print_stats
      import pstats
    ImportError: No module named pstats

To my eyes, this looks like I need to install some package. This is indeed the case: the python-profiler package provides the pstats module. Unfortunately, python-profiler is not free. There's a depressing back story involving ancient code and missing rights holders.

If you're on Debian, you can just install the python-profiler package. Alas, the package does not appear to be compiled for Maemo.

Happily, kernprof works around this and is easy to use:

    # wget http://packages.python.org/line_profiler/kernprof.py
    # python -m kernprof /usr/bin/gpodder

Kernprof saves the statistics in the file program.prof in the current directory (in this case, it saves the data in gpodder.prof).

To analyize the data, you'll need to copy the file to a system that has python-profiler installed. Then run:

    # python -m pstats gpodder.prof
    Welcome to the profile statistics browser.
    % sort time
    % stats 10
    Tue Nov  1 13:09:54 2011    gpodder.prof

             105542 function calls (101494 primitive calls) in 117.449 CPU seconds

       Ordered by: internal time
       List reduced from 1138 to 10 due to restriction <10>

       ncalls  tottime  percall  cumtime  percall filename:lineno(function)
            1   57.458   57.458   69.012   69.012 {exec_}
            1   16.052   16.052   26.417   26.417 /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/gpodder/qmlui/__init__.py:405(__init__)
            1    8.591    8.591   13.790   13.790 /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/gpodder/qmlui/__init__.py:24(<module>)
           60    7.041    0.117    7.041    0.117 {method 'send_message_with_reply_and_block' of '_dbus_bindings.Connection' objects}
            3    6.357    2.119    7.469    2.490 {method 'reset' of 'PySide.QtCore.QAbstractItemModel' objects}
           36    2.636    0.073    2.636    0.073 {method 'execute' of 'sqlite3.Cursor' objects}
            1    2.283    2.283    2.284    2.284 {method 'setSource' of 'PySide.QtDeclarative.QDeclarativeView' objects}
            1    1.848    1.848    1.848    1.848 /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/PySide/private.py:1(<module>)
            2    1.789    0.895    1.789    0.895 {posix.listdir}
            1    0.765    0.765    4.234    4.234 /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/gpodder/__init__.py:20(<module>)

The statistics browser is relatively easy to use (at least for the simple things I've wanted to see so far). Help is available online using its help command.