On Dec 15, 2005, at 4:01 PM, Nikko Wolf wrote:
Can you elaborate on what "strange and unpredictable behavior" you
mean? I'm curious in general, but especially w.r.t. the code above?
BTW, a simple grep of sources in Zope (2.7.6-final) turns up 600+
places where a bare except is used, and my Zope instance (which
uses Plone) contains over 350 more.
Often when you see a bare except, it is after some of the specific
important exceptions are caught and re-raised:
Even this is pretty poor style anyway (If you don't know enough
about what is going wrong to know what is being thrown, you probably
shouldn't be in charge of recovering from it.)
The problem with catching and swallowing ConflictError and similar
internal Zope errors is that you leave your ZODB in an inconsistent
state. Roughly, one request has started making modifications to the
ZODB, then a second request has been making modifications to the same
object. The ZODB has noticed this, and throws this ConflictError
exception. It is expecting this exception to bubble up all the way
out of your code, throwing away whatever potential modifications you
have made to the ZODB and having Zope try your code again. (at that
point, hopefully the task that didn't get the conflict error has
completed and committed its changes. When your code is run again, it
will see the new values from the other transaction.
Here an (again very rough) example:
Imagine that you have two collections of objects called "unprocessed"
and "processed". A group of somethings or someones grab the next item
in "unprocessed", and puts it into "processed". If two requests come
in to grab the next item from "unprocessed" and put it one of the
other buckets, at some point. one or both of them will get the
ConflictError exception. If the exception is swallowed by the code
both of them will save their copy of the object in "processed", and
where you had one object before you now have two. If these objects
were student quizzes, two copies of the same quiz will double the
weight of the score. If these object were loan application, the
amount of money you were paying out has doubled. All around bad news.
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