On Mon, 21 Nov 2005, Chris McDonough wrote:

> On Nov 21, 2005, at 2:10 PM, Dennis Allison wrote:
> >
> > Conflicts and how they interact with the database and sessioning  
> > machinery
> > is my hot button right at the moment )-:  I Hope I have not
> > included too much information.
> >
> > I ran a quick report and we see about 1000 conflicts per hour at
> > about 120000 hits per hour.
> Is this the number of log messages that indicate a conflict error  
> occurred (e.g. "x conflict errors since DATE" messages in the event  
> log) or the number of conflict errors that are retried more than  
> three times and thus make it "out" to the app user?  I'm guessing the  
> former.

*** you are correct -- this is the easy hack on the event.log.  It's much 
harder to know how many make it out to the user.  We have an associated 
bug in the MySQL interface which generates threading errors, apparently 
triggered by a conflict error and the subsequent backout.  These occur 
with most conflicts which involve the database--almost every conflict with 
our system structure.

> >   These are order of magnitude numbers and are
> > highly variable.  The 1% number is way bigger than I am comfortable  
> > with
> > although I have no basis to scale my expectations.  I'd be much  
> > happier were
> > it a couple of orders of magnitude smaller.
> I would be too.  It's considerably difficult when ZODB is used as the  
> sessioning backend.  A lot of effort has been put in to reducing the  
> potential for conflicts already.  It could of course be better if  
> more time was put in, but there hasn't been any reason (besides a  
> sense of accomplishment and contribution to the greater good,  
> anyway ;-) to put in that effort since the last time this machinery  
> was overhauled.

*** I've moved from a ZODB sessioning backend to local sessioning.  There
has not been a significant change, I think because the MySQL problem
dominates at the moment.

> That said, if no conflict errors actually bubble up to the user using  
> the application, the penalty is "just" app performance and "knowledge  
> expense" (e.g. you can't use a nontransactional mailhost, you can't  
> use a nontransactional database table, etc).  You've already paid for  
> the latter the hard way. ;-)  I can't judge the expense of the former  
> to you but I assume that's what you're primarily worried about now.

*** Right now, we have major problems with our transactional database 
and locks.   Once that gets resolved, we will address how to refactor 
to minimize the cost of transactions and ensure correctness in the 
presence of conflicts.  Correctness is already pretty much guaranteed with 
our current systems structure.

> >
> > Conflict errors are not always errors.
> The real reason they're called "errors" is only because they're  
> implemented as Python exceptions.  They are implemented as exceptions  
> because it was the easiest mechanism to use (exceptions are already  
> built into Python).
> >   As I understand it, Zope retries
> > when a conflict occurs and usually is able to commit both sides of the
> > conflicting transaction.
> There can be more than two sides (actually there always are... there  
> are three.. the two conflicting in-progress connection states and the  
> database state).
> >   Sometimes Zope cannot commit conflicting
> > transactions--and it is at that point that an error occurs.
> An exception occurs, yes.
> Oops, I just realized Tim responded to the rest of these points, so I  
> won't go on.
*** Yes, he did.  THANKS TIM for your comments and help.  (And you too 

> > We do have occasional instances where unresolved conflicts raise user
> > visible diagnostics.  These are real errors.  While I have not  
> > explored
> > the reasons why, it appears that at least some of these errors are not
> > logged in event.log but only displayed to the user.
> To be pedantic, if you're right about conflict error tracebacks being  
> shown to end users, it's not because they are "unresolved" (in the  
> sense that 'application-level conflict resolution' could have  
> prevented them), it's because a request was issued that resulted in a  
> conflict error, which was retried, and then that retried request  
> raised a conflict error, and then twice more.  The only way to figure  
> out what's going on here is to see the traceback.  IIRC, Zope logs  
> conflict error tracebacks at the BLATHER log level (as well as a  
> deluge of other ancillary info).
> However, even if BLATHER logging mode is not on, if no obvious error  
> is put in the event log when a conflict error is relayed to a user,  
> that's definitely a bug.  I'd believe it in a second! ;-)

*** have done that but no helpful results as of yet.

> The Zope conflict exception catching code is written in such a  
> complicated way (and without the benefit of any automated tests) that  
> tracking that down could take an entire day which I don't have to  
> burn ATM.  So I'm afraid the status quo will prevail until someone  
> gets so indignant about it that they either pay for it to be fixed or  
> fix it themselves.  Apologies for that. :-(

*** it may come to that.  :-)


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