[PATCH] "incr" supports wraparound

Clint Webb webb.clint at gmail.com
Fri Aug 17 03:14:18 UTC 2007

On 8/17/07, Evan Miller <emiller at imvu.com> wrote:
> Wraparound might actually be a better solution for you, because it
> solves the concurrency problems. Currently, several clients that
> simultaneously attempt to increment past the size limit will all receive
> errors, and they will all attempt to run your reset logic. I don't know
> about your specific use-case, but for us this means that increments get
> lost in the meantime (multiple clients reset the counter to 1).

Hmm... I hadn't thought of it that way.  I only have one piece of code right
now that could possibly hit the wrap-around effect, and I have it locked so
that only one client can perform a replenishment operation.   This is
triggered whenever it receives an error from the client.

Now that I think about it more, its not such a big deal to me either way, as
I can easily detect either condition.   I'm currently used to dealing with
objects that fail rather than wrap-around, so I couldn't grasp why you would
want it to, but what you say does make sense.

With wraparound, only one client will receive a "0" return value, and so
> only one client will run the additional reset logic.
> It's true that clients which rely on the increment errors will need
> tweaking, but overall wraparound makes Memcached more useful and robust
> as a generic counter service.
> It would be even more useful if calling "incr" on a non-existent key set
> the value to "1" in order to avoid race conditions similar to what I
> describe above, but that's a different can of worms...

Yes, that would actually cause me some trouble...
I currently rely on "incr" failing if you try to incr a key that doesn't

I'm one of those zealots that litters their code with asserts to ensure that
any loss of integrity on data is readily identified.  As a result, I'd
rather know if something failed, rather than get some default value that
just might allow the code to work, but not be correct.
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