Are there any performance or inconsistency issues when using Permanently Delete?

Are there dangers such as reduced database performance, inconsistencies, anything else? Or is not being able to recover the permanently deleted posts the only danger?


It is just that once a post is deleted it is gone forever and it cannot be recovered. There are no performance concerns.


I actually have the opposite question: isn’t there reduced performance from Discourse from only soft deleting posts instead always permanently deleting them? There must be some burden acumulated after some years for some forums. Is it done this way to keep statistics for each account even when posts/topics are removed?


Not really. BTree indexes mean we can search in O(log n) for posts and topics, so there is a sub-linear cost growth.

In the largest Discourse instances out there, post quantity never were the performance bottleneck in production. That said we keep an eye on it and we can always come back and refactor it if needed.


In short, no.

First of all, I believe that most communities have many more visible posts than deleted posts. For example, here on Meta the total amount of posts is 1,015,386 and only 81,480 of these are deleted. That is less than 10%. Probably the total amount of deleted data is less than 100MB of data.

As Falco said, the performance impact of storing and indexing more data is negligible. Database systems are optimized to hold a lot more data than one can imagine and even the most simple configurations can hold thousands of thousands of data points without breaking a sweat.

Maybe this is not the best comparison in the world, but can you notice your PC getting slower as you store more files? Most probably no and the file system is some kind of database system too. :slight_smile:


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