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I want to share some best practice advice for setting the Perform Tune values in the Job Ticket (JT), specifically with the Max Page Size, Max Pages, and Max DLD Entries fields.
I've noticed a trend in customer samples that I've seen where these field values are just "maxed out", i.e. set to their maximum values as sort of a "default" setup of the JT.
For example, I'm seeing a lot of JT's with the Max Page Size field set to 99999999 (the maximum value you can enter in that field) - even when nothing close to that value is needed for the DIV's that belong to those JOB's.
And with the same customer samples I also typically see the Max Pages and Max DLD Entries fields both set to "jumbo" (which is 1000 pages and 1500 entries), or even higher - because some users think that these are the maximum values for these fields. Note: Actually that's not the case, it's only that "jumbo" is the highest pre-defined value for these fields (the max value for these fields is actually 32767 and 262144 - but I'm not sure I should be revealing that here ).
And just using these "highest" values, by default, for these fields is not a good thing to do.
Well put simply, it will have an adverse effect on XPP performance and for no really good reason (and could adversely affect the overall performance of the system running XPP as well if other things are being done besides XPP) - hence the naming of these fields as "Perform Tune" (aka performance related).
So, what is the best practice for these fields?
Set them only as high as you need, or foresee that you will need, for the DIV's that will belong to a particular JOB.
For example (with probably the easiest of the fields to determine), if you know that no individual DIV in a JOB is going to have more than 100 pages in it then don't set the Max Pages field (needlessly) to 1000 pages (jumbo). And it may be more challenging to determine the appropriate value to use for the Max Page Size and Max DLD Entries fields, but with experience using XPP you will become pretty proficient at figuring out what values you need.
And there is rarely any lasting ill effects if you do run into the situation of having values that are too small. Yes, you'll get a "fatal" error message such as "Page Buffer Overflow …", "Page ... too large for Page Buffer", or "Number of Pages exceeds maximum ...". But then all you usually need to do is increase the appropriate field in the JT and go back and compose again.
I'm going to stop there for this initial post; many will not want to bother with the details and explanation, but for those that are interested I am going to follow with further "posts" (in this thread) to further explain and even give examples showing the impact.
Jonathan DagrestaSDL XPP Engineering
Life is all about using the right number.(a fictional story)
Today is an important day for Freddy. Freddy is a technical writer and today is D-day, D as in deliveryday. Freddy has to finish up the owner…
Jonathan - very interestingMy default settings, that I use when setting up a new job, are:- Max Page Size: 4000000 (more or less 4MB)- Max Pages: jumbo- Max DLD entries: super.On my Windows system this gives…
Jonathan,Waw, this memory thing is quite complicated in Windows.In the Task Manager/Details tab you can check the following numbers (yes, life is all about using the right number)- working set: amount…
Today is an important day for Freddy. Freddy is a technical writer and today is D-day, D as in deliveryday. Freddy has to finish up the owner manuals for the new Toyota that will be launched Europe wide next month. And for this to happen, the PDFs have to be delivered at the printer by tomorrow morning at the latest.
Today is also an important day for Freddy for another reason. This is his 15th wedding anniversary and his marriage needs a little boost. And Freddy has a plan, Freddy will jump into the local Victoria's Secret and get what he think will please his wife. As the store closes by 6, Freddy needs to leave the office by 5 at the very latest.
This morning the Toyoata marketing team finally decided on the name of the new motor. It will no longer be called the UHF-1000. No, it will called by its full name: Ultra Hybrid Fuel-1000. Freddy plugs in this new name into his SDL Tridion Docs system and launches a last proof of the 350 page english version of the owners manual. While waiting for the system, Freddy makes a call to Anne, his wife's best friend and gets confirmation for the correct numbers for his present: 95C. It is getting late and Freddy really wants to go leave the office, so he anxiously awaits the PDF. 10 minutes later, disaster strikes. The longer name for the new motor makes the motor spec table to overflow the page and that is a no-no. Freddy decides to plug in a smaller point size into the motor spec table. There is no more time for yet another proof so Freddy launches the complete batch of the 22 different language versions. Freddy happily leaves the office at 5 minutes past 5 and runs on his way to the train station in order to make up for the lost time. He just makes the train and can now relax. Mission completed as tomorrow morning he will find the 22 PDFs on his desk and send them to the printer. And more importantly he now has the time to get his special present for his wife, so tonight will be a success
The next day
Freddy knocks in full panic mode on the door of John's office. This morning he found 0 PDFs and he knows he will never be able to deliver the 22 PDFs in time. He quickly calculates that 22 times 10 minutes is 220 minutes or give or take 4 hours. "What's wrong, Freddy? You look like you had a rough night" John, the XPP system manager, asks. "John, I needed the PDFs by 9 this morning, but nothing came out of the system and I can't figure out what went wrong. Yesterday it all worked fine..." "So what did you change last?" "Well I reduced the point size on the motor spec table page, could it be that? Don't tell me this is that same problem we had 6 months ago?" "Ah the Max Page Size setting? Could very well be, lets up the Max Page Size again and give it a try" "But didn't you do that same thing like 6 months ago" Freddy asks. "Well apparently I did not plug in a high enough number, it is all about using the right number" says John. Ten minutes later the PDF was there. "Let's quickly queue up the other 21 languages" says a relieved Freddy.
Needless to say that Freddy did not make his deadline and there was a lot hassle with Toyota because of that. So much that Peter, the CEO of the service company that Freddy and John were working for, got involved. Peter promised Toyota that he would go to the bottom of this problem. So he sets up emergency meeting John and Freddy. "Our customer did not like this at all. So tell me guys what was going on here? How is this even possible?" utters an annoyed Peter. "Well it is all about getting the right number into the XPP system" John tries. "I don't care about the 'right' number. We had exactly the same problem six months ago and now again. Tell me how is this possible?" shouts Peter. John and Freddy both keep quiet. "What is the biggest number you can put into the system?" says Peter. "9999999" says John quietly. "Well then use" shouts Peter, signaling that the meeting is over.
So be it. John reluctantly plugs in the magic number 9999999 into the Max Page Size field.
Since then, Freddy never missed a deadline again, John kept his job and Peter kept relatively happy.
Life is all about the right number
PS: many years later, John opens up a ticket with SDL support and sends them a sample job. SDL support comes back to him with the suggestion to lower the Max Page Size setting. But John wants to keep his job and does not change the Max Page Size setting!