Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Redis & Bedrock

Been playing a bit with Redis, a really cool in-memory database based on keys and values.  It's a key/value database on steroids and has a lot of applicability for web applications that need to scale or just want better performance.

A Perl module is available on CPAN, appropriately named Redis.  One might therefore be tempted to do something like:

<plugin:Redis server localhost:6379>
<null $Redis.set('key', 'value')>

Great idea, however it turns out that didn't work.  Is Bedrock broken? Hmmm...let's find out.

Perl modules like Redis that utilize a large number of AUTOLOAD subroutines and do not implement an appropriate can method are not going to present a code reference when Bedrock's parser calls the module's can as a recognition of this possibility the module within Bedrock's parsing does this:

my $funcref;
$funcref = $obj->can($func);
if ( $funcref ) {
    @ref_v = $funcref->( $obj, @funcargs );
  else {
     "$self: eval function in case implemented via AUTOLOAD\n\@ref_v = $obj->$func(\@args);"

    eval '@ref_v = $obj->' . $func . '(@args);';

    if ( $@ ) {
      if ( $@ =~/TagX::Scalar/ ) {
  die "attempt to invoke possibly non-existent method ($func) on a possibly non-existent scalar\n";
      else {
        die "$@\n";

Hey, umm...what's that? @args? Shouldn't that be @funcargs? Yup....bug.  Fixed in 2.4.1-snapshot today.  Okay, so anyway...

What can we do with Bedrock and Redis?

Well, generally we can use it as a persistent storage mechanism similar to the way we use the $session object.

<null $Redis.set('foo', 'bar')>

...on one page and then...

<var $Redis.get('foo')>

...on the next...

Of course that example is like saying you can use a brick to prop open a door!  There are lot more interesting and exciting things you can do with Redis.

How about counting page hits from unique IPs?

<null $Redis.pfadd('home-page', $env.REMOTE_ADDR)>

Using Redis' HyperLogLog (requires Redis 2.8.9) facility we can add a member and let Redis keep track of counting unique hits.

<var $Redis.pfcount('home-page')>

Or resetting a counter at midnight by specifying a time value (seconds since the epoch) to the expireat function.

<sqlselect "select unix_timestamp(date_add(curdate(), interval 1 day)) exp">
<null $Redis.expireat('home-page', $exp)></sqlselect>

...and of course we can store serialized data to Redis.

<null $Redis.set('env', $env.json()>

and deserialize it later to a Bedrock object...

<null:user_env --json $Redis.get('env')>

Yup...this is cool!  ;-)

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