memcache(3) 1.2.0 released...

John McCaskey johnm at
Thu Jan 13 09:20:02 PST 2005

On Thu, 2005-01-13 at 03:19 -0700, Timo Ewalds wrote:
> Andrei Nigmatulin wrote:
> >В Срд, 12.01.2005, в 22:15, John McCaskey пишет:
> >  
> >
> >>On Wed, 2005-01-12 at 22:03 +0300, Antony Dovgal wrote:
> >>    
> >>
> >>>On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 11:02:01 -0800
> >>>John McCaskey <johnm at> wrote:
> >>> 
> >>>      
> >>>
> >>>>If the get() command however returns a FALSE for either my stored
> >>>>FALSE value or for a miss, then I will always have to assume its a
> >>>>miss and hit the slow storage everytime I retrieve a FALSE.  Am I
> >>>>missing something here?  I can't see it if so.
> >>>>        
> >>>>
> >>>Yup, you're missing "===" operator.
> >>>empty string == false, but empty string !== false.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>      
> >>>
> >>Sure, but an empty string is not the same as a FALSE if I am storing
> >>both and considering them distinct.  I know about ===.  But I want to
> >>get exactly what I store back from memcached, if I store an '' or a
> >>FALSE then I should get exactly a '' or a FALSE in return and when I
> >>test with === it should match up.
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >As i understand, memcached only stores and retrives strings and does not
> >handle anything else, for example boolean. That's because internally,
> >memcached stores raw bytes and a length, but does not store a type of
> >data.
> >The only Right Way i see here is to store TRUE and FALSE as "1" and "0"
> >strings.
> >
> >  
> >
> Though memcached only stores raw data, if you serialize the data in php, 
> it stores the type of data as a string. It won't be as compact as you 
> might be able to get away with, but it will preserve type as well as value.
> I suggest having get() return false when it has a cache miss. If you 
> want to be able to store ANY type of data, then it doesn't matter what 
> you return, it will conflict with something. To get around that, have 
> get_multi() return an array with only the values that exist. For a call 
> of a single key that resulted in a cache miss, it'd return an empty 
> array. The current pure php library does that, though my pecl wrapper 
> does not (as I don't know how to detect the difference between a cache 
> miss and a value of false).

Memcached stores abitrary binary strings.  It's true it knows nothing
about 'type' unless you use the flags as Sean mentioned, but if your
application knows what type goes with a given key this is of no
consequence.  Thus you can do something like mc->set('keyname', FALSE);
without any concern, so long as everytime you access the value in
'keyname' you know what type (or types) you are expecting back.  

I see no reason (except for the fact that the php api returns FALSE for
a miss) not to just store in this manner if you know to expect FALSE as
a possible value when you do your get.

However, in regards to the original discussion, I will mirror the
current php api and return FALSE for a miss in the single get command,
but also allow a single get to be passed to the multi get command as
Array('key'), and then I will return an empty array (Array()) for a
miss, or Array('key'=>value) for a hit.  This allows you to get a FALSE
from the cache and know its not a miss if you use the multi get format.

I think everyone can be happy with that. Right?

> Timo
John A. McCaskey
Software Development Engineer
Klir Technologies, Inc.
johnm at

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