darcs

Patch 1980 split off D.R.Pristine and D.R.Traverse ... (and 4 more)

Title split off D.R.Pristine and D.R.Traverse ... (and 4 more)
Superseder Nosy List bf
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Status accepted Assigned To
Milestone

Created on 2020-02-10.14:17:45 by bf, last changed 2020-02-28.12:25:23 by bf.

Files
File name Status Uploaded Type Edit Remove
in-d_r_traverse_-replace-ifioerror-with-ifdoesnotexisterror.dpatch bf, 2020-02-25.08:03:38 application/x-darcs-patch
pEpkey.asc bf, 2020-02-25.07:46:37 application/pgp-keys
pEpkey.asc bf, 2020-02-26.07:57:11 application/pgp-keys
pEpkey.asc bf, 2020-02-27.23:18:11 application/pgp-keys
pEpkey.asc bf, 2020-02-28.12:25:22 application/pgp-keys
patch-preview.txt bf, 2020-02-10.14:17:44 text/x-darcs-patch
patch-preview.txt bf, 2020-02-25.08:03:38 text/x-darcs-patch
split-off-d_r_pristine-and-d_r_traverse-from-d_r_hashed.dpatch bf, 2020-02-10.14:17:44 application/x-darcs-patch
unnamed bf, 2020-02-10.14:17:44 text/plain
unnamed bf, 2020-02-25.08:03:38 text/plain
See mailing list archives for discussion on individual patches.
Messages
msg21783 (view) Author: bf Date: 2020-02-10.14:17:45
Over the years Darcs.Repository.Hashed has become a sink for all kinds of
Repository code that is only weakly related to the core functionality. In
particular, the inventory/patch traversal code that was added to support
cleaning of repos and the cache is independent from reading and writing
patches. The interfaces are smaller now and refactors become easier.

5 patches for repository http://darcs.net/screened:

patch b79753cdb31458f7ae1c763a992f35a940c12742
Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
Date:   Wed Feb  5 09:10:22 CET 2020
  * split off D.R.Pristine and D.R.Traverse from D.R.Hashed

patch bcd89758f9ada7c68b2c09957271d44d5b1534e3
Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
Date:   Wed Feb  5 09:51:04 CET 2020
  * D.R.Traverse: import explicitly from D.R.Inventory

patch d42f066b6a9a18e0d90eb957a92220733ae2f647
Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
Date:   Wed Feb  5 12:30:36 CET 2020
  * add utility functions handleOnly, handleOnlyIOError, and ifIOError

patch 6d97d20f213798d43f7a595591c3e308713de511
Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
Date:   Wed Feb  5 12:15:04 CET 2020
  * use ifIOError in D.R.Traverse and remove filterDirContents

patch 574949493fbd05fb0645b1ee7cb95505366da84f
Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
Date:   Wed Feb  5 13:07:16 CET 2020
  * rename some internal functions in D.R.Traverse
Attachments
msg21914 (view) Author: ganesh Date: 2020-02-24.23:08:52
On 10/02/2020 14:17, Ben Franksen wrote:

> patch b79753cdb31458f7ae1c763a992f35a940c12742
> Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
> Date:   Wed Feb  5 09:10:22 CET 2020
>   * split off D.R.Pristine and D.R.Traverse from D.R.Hashed

OK (I assume this is just moves)

> patch bcd89758f9ada7c68b2c09957271d44d5b1534e3
> Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
> Date:   Wed Feb  5 09:51:04 CET 2020
>   * D.R.Traverse: import explicitly from D.R.Inventory

OK

> patch d42f066b6a9a18e0d90eb957a92220733ae2f647
> Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
> Date:   Wed Feb  5 12:30:36 CET 2020
>   * add utility functions handleOnly, handleOnlyIOError, and ifIOError

OK - there is handleJust etc in Control.Exception already, but using
Maybe rather than Bool.

> patch 6d97d20f213798d43f7a595591c3e308713de511
> Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
> Date:   Wed Feb  5 12:15:04 CET 2020
>   * use ifIOError in D.R.Traverse and remove filterDirContents

I'm not too happy about replacing 'doesDirectoryExist'/'doesFileExist'
with 'ifIOError'. That'll cover many more errors than just "it doesn't
exist". Even though doesFileExist etc are themselves implemented with IO
error catching, I am not convinced you'd get the same result for things
like permission errors.

> patch 574949493fbd05fb0645b1ee7cb95505366da84f
> Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
> Date:   Wed Feb  5 13:07:16 CET 2020
>   * rename some internal functions in D.R.Traverse

OK
msg21916 (view) Author: bf Date: 2020-02-25.07:46:37
>>   * split off D.R.Pristine and D.R.Traverse from D.R.Hashed
> 
> OK (I assume this is just moves)

Yes.

>>   * add utility functions handleOnly, handleOnlyIOError, and ifIOError
> 
> OK - there is handleJust etc in Control.Exception already, but using
> Maybe rather than Bool.

I tried handleJust but found it too awkward to use.

>> patch 6d97d20f213798d43f7a595591c3e308713de511
>> Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
>> Date:   Wed Feb  5 12:15:04 CET 2020
>>   * use ifIOError in D.R.Traverse and remove filterDirContents
> 
> I'm not too happy about replacing 'doesDirectoryExist'/'doesFileExist'
> with 'ifIOError'. That'll cover many more errors than just "it doesn't
> exist". Even though doesFileExist etc are themselves implemented with IO
> error catching, I am not convinced you'd get the same result for things
> like permission errors.

You are right. Will fix, probably adding ifDoesNotExistError and use
that instead.
Attachments
msg21917 (view) Author: bf Date: 2020-02-25.08:03:38
Following up on review.

1 patch for repository http://darcs.net/screened:

patch 7a1839ed4cdc68c3b0db62134f3ff484c1f39896
Author: Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de>
Date:   Tue Feb 25 08:58:41 CET 2020
  * in D.R.Traverse, replace ifIOError with ifDoesNotExistError
  
  This restores the behavior before patch 6d97d20f213798d43f7a595 and avoids
  hiding problems e.g. due to wrong permissions.
Attachments
msg21923 (view) Author: ganesh Date: 2020-02-26.07:07:40
On 25/02/2020 07:46, Ben Franksen wrote:

> You are right. Will fix, probably adding ifDoesNotExistError and use
> that instead.

I should have also commented that I also find using exceptions instead
of normal control flow a bit strange, although I don't know of any
concrete problems with doing it in Haskell so it's just a matter of a
style preference.

In many other languages exceptions are often relatively slow. I have no
idea of the speed in Haskell but I doubt it's material here.

Using exceptions for non-exceptional situations makes debugging harder
as a common debugging pattern is to ask the debugger to break the first
time an exception is thrown. So "expected" exceptions just get in the
way. But since Haskell doesn't have a usable debugger this is somewhat
irrelevant too :-)
msg21925 (view) Author: bf Date: 2020-02-26.07:57:11
> I should have also commented that I also find using exceptions instead
> of normal control flow a bit strange, although I don't know of any
> concrete problems with doing it in Haskell so it's just a matter of a
> style preference.

I beg to differ. This is not about style preference, but about reliability.

There are two independent questions here.

One is whether it is a good idea to use exceptions to handle (or not
handle) failures of IO actions, or whether it is better to indicate
failure via return value. There is considerable debate on that. However,
this one was decided for us by the people designing Haskell & the
standard libraries. I agree that the choice is questionable.

A completely different question is whether it is a good idea to first
check for suitable conditions before running an action to avoid possible
failures, or whether it is better to let the action fail and then handle
that. There is (astonishingly) an almost universal consensus that the
latter is to be preferred. This is because the former method always
involves a race condition with outside agents: another process may
interfere between the check and the action and invalidate the result of
the check before the action is run. This is generally referred to as
TOCOU (time of check, time of use). It impedes reliability and can lead
to bugs that are very hard to reproduce.

We should /always/ let IO actions fail and then handle the failure and
/never/ first check for suitable conditions.
Attachments
msg21927 (view) Author: ganesh Date: 2020-02-26.12:42:14
On 26/02/2020 07:57, Ben Franksen wrote:

> A completely different question is whether it is a good idea to first
> check for suitable conditions before running an action to avoid possible
> failures, or whether it is better to let the action fail and then handle
> that. There is (astonishingly) an almost universal consensus that the
> latter is to be preferred. This is because the former method always
> involves a race condition with outside agents: another process may
> interfere between the check and the action and invalidate the result of
> the check before the action is run. This is generally referred to as
> TOCOU (time of check, time of use). It impedes reliability and can lead
> to bugs that are very hard to reproduce.
> 
> We should /always/ let IO actions fail and then handle the failure and
> /never/ first check for suitable conditions.

If we are relying on this property to guarantee atomicity with respect
to outside agents, we'd need to check what the library we call actually
does. But in practice most IO actions we do are compound ones anyway.
Take this example:

> -- | Remove unreferenced files in the patches directory.
> cleanPatches :: Repository rt p wR wU wT -> IO ()
> cleanPatches _ = do
>     debugMessage "Cleaning out patches..."
>     hs <- (specialPatches ++) <$> listPatchesLocal PlainLayout darcsdir darcsdir
>     fs <- ifIOError [] (listDirectory patchesDirPath)
>     mapM_ (removeFileMayNotExist . (patchesDirPath </>)) (diffHashLists fs hs)

Whether or not listDirectory is atomic, removing each unwanted patch
file one by one certainly isn't. Yes, removeFileMayNotExist is itself
atomic, but by the time we get round to running it, hs might no longer
be valid if someone changed the repo, so we'd be doing the wrong thing
anyway.

Anyway, I'm ok with the current code, even if I don't think it buys us
anything.
msg21938 (view) Author: bf Date: 2020-02-27.23:18:11
>> A completely different question is whether it is a good idea to first
>> check for suitable conditions before running an action to avoid possible
>> failures, or whether it is better to let the action fail and then handle
>> that.[..]
>> We should /always/ let IO actions fail and then handle the failure and
>> /never/ first check for suitable conditions.
> 
> If we are relying on this property to guarantee atomicity with respect
> to outside agents, we'd need to check what the library we call actually
> does.

Why? The action can either succeed or fail. If it succeeds, fine. If
not, we catch the exception. This is 100% reliable by definition,
regardless of whether the action we perform is atomic or not.

> But in practice most IO actions we do are compound ones anyway.
> Take this example:
> 
>> -- | Remove unreferenced files in the patches directory.
>> cleanPatches :: Repository rt p wR wU wT -> IO ()
>> cleanPatches _ = do
>>     debugMessage "Cleaning out patches..."
>>     hs <- (specialPatches ++) <$> listPatchesLocal PlainLayout darcsdir darcsdir
>>     fs <- ifIOError [] (listDirectory patchesDirPath)
>>     mapM_ (removeFileMayNotExist . (patchesDirPath </>)) (diffHashLists fs hs)
> 
> Whether or not listDirectory is atomic, removing each unwanted patch
> file one by one certainly isn't. Yes, removeFileMayNotExist is itself
> atomic, but by the time we get round to running it, hs might no longer
> be valid if someone changed the repo, so we'd be doing the wrong thing
> anyway.

You are missing the point. This code naturally runs under withRepoLock.
So we know that the files we got from listPatchesLocal are no longer
needed because no other /darcs/ command can change the state. So
removing them is safe. There is really nothing that can go wrong.

In contrast, if we check if files exist and only then remove them, but
without catching possible exceptions, then there is a small chance that
the action still fails because some outside process deletes the file
before we can. But now we aren't prepared for that and darcs will crash
with an unhandled exception. You might be tempted to reply that this is
better because it doesn't hide that we have a problem with an outside
agent that interferes with our repo. That's a design decision and I'd be
okay with that, but then why bother with the check in the first place?

If we were doing these things in C, we could ignore the return value of
the system call. This would be okay: if we cannot remove the file here,
this is not a problem. But we are in Haskell and therefore stuck with IO
actions throwing exceptions when something goes wrong. If we don't
handle them then the program may crash, even if the error is not fatal
and we would normally want to continue.
Attachments
msg21942 (view) Author: ganesh Date: 2020-02-28.07:37:35
On 27/02/2020 23:18, Ben Franksen wrote:
> 
> Ben Franksen <ben.franksen@online.de> added the comment:
> 
>>> A completely different question is whether it is a good idea to first
>>> check for suitable conditions before running an action to avoid possible
>>> failures, or whether it is better to let the action fail and then handle
>>> that.[..]
>>> We should /always/ let IO actions fail and then handle the failure and
>>> /never/ first check for suitable conditions.
>>
>> If we are relying on this property to guarantee atomicity with respect
>> to outside agents, we'd need to check what the library we call actually
>> does.
> 
> Why? The action can either succeed or fail. If it succeeds, fine. If
> not, we catch the exception. This is 100% reliable by definition,
> regardless of whether the action we perform is atomic or not.

What happens if the library is internally (pseudocode):

  exists <- doesExist d
  if exists then read d else throw (doesNotExistError d)

Then we're back where we started anyway.

> You are missing the point. This code naturally runs under withRepoLock.
> So we know that the files we got from listPatchesLocal are no longer
> needed because no other /darcs/ command can change the state. So
> removing them is safe. There is really nothing that can go wrong.

The same outside agent that is randomly deleting things without a care
for our lock could be randomly editing inventories :-)

> In contrast, if we check if files exist and only then remove them, but
> without catching possible exceptions, then there is a small chance that
> the action still fails because some outside process deletes the file
> before we can. But now we aren't prepared for that and darcs will crash
> with an unhandled exception. You might be tempted to reply that this is
> better because it doesn't hide that we have a problem with an outside
> agent that interferes with our repo. That's a design decision and I'd be
> okay with that, but then why bother with the check in the first place?

If it's already a violation of the repository invariants for the
directory not to be there, I'd be fine with us just failing all the
time. (In that case my style argument also doesn't apply, as it's not an
expected case.)
msg21951 (view) Author: bf Date: 2020-02-28.12:25:22
>>>> We should /always/ let IO actions fail and then handle the failure and
>>>> /never/ first check for suitable conditions.
>>>
>>> If we are relying on this property to guarantee atomicity with respect
>>> to outside agents, we'd need to check what the library we call actually
>>> does.
>>
>> Why? The action can either succeed or fail. If it succeeds, fine. If
>> not, we catch the exception. This is 100% reliable by definition,
>> regardless of whether the action we perform is atomic or not.
> 
> What happens if the library is internally (pseudocode):
> 
>   exists <- doesExist d
>   if exists then read d else throw (doesNotExistError d)
> 
> Then we're back where we started anyway.

Sigh. No we're not. We catch the exception and all is well. We have a
problem only if we do /not/ catch the exception, proving my point.

(BTW, if I make a logical argument as I did above (by simple case
distinction) then you are supposed to either accept that I am right or
show me where I made a logical mistake or tell me where my assumptions
are invalid.)

Of course we must rely on libraries to fulfill their contract. If the
docs say that removeFileMayNotExist does not throw an exception if the
file doesn't exist, then it should really do so. Implementing it by
first testing if it exists and only then removing it would be a bug.

But if it does not claim that and we don't catch the exception then this
is our bug.

>> You are missing the point. This code naturally runs under withRepoLock.
>> So we know that the files we got from listPatchesLocal are no longer
>> needed because no other /darcs/ command can change the state. So
>> removing them is safe. There is really nothing that can go wrong.
> 
> The same outside agent that is randomly deleting things without a care
> for our lock could be randomly editing inventories :-)

But then the inventories are broken anyway. There is nothing we can do
about that.

Here is a more likely scenario: suppose we try to optimise 'optimize
clean' by running multiple threads in parallel. Then the variant with
the TOCTOU would be prone to random failures whereas the one that
catches the exception works fine. We actually had exactly such problems
with packs IIRC.

>> In contrast, if we check if files exist and only then remove them, but
>> without catching possible exceptions, then there is a small chance that
>> the action still fails because some outside process deletes the file
>> before we can. But now we aren't prepared for that and darcs will crash
>> with an unhandled exception. You might be tempted to reply that this is
>> better because it doesn't hide that we have a problem with an outside
>> agent that interferes with our repo. That's a design decision and I'd be
>> okay with that, but then why bother with the check in the first place?
> 
> If it's already a violation of the repository invariants for the
> directory not to be there, I'd be fine with us just failing all the
> time.

I agree. But single patch files could rightfully not be there if the
repo is lazy.
Attachments
History
Date User Action Args
2020-02-10 14:17:45bfcreate
2020-02-10 14:21:25bfsetstatus: needs-screening -> needs-review
2020-02-24 23:08:53ganeshsetmessages: + msg21914
2020-02-25 07:46:37bfsetfiles: + pEpkey.asc
messages: + msg21916
2020-02-25 08:03:38bfsetfiles: + patch-preview.txt, in-d_r_traverse_-replace-ifioerror-with-ifdoesnotexisterror.dpatch, unnamed
messages: + msg21917
2020-02-26 07:07:41ganeshsetmessages: + msg21923
2020-02-26 07:07:48ganeshsetstatus: needs-review -> accepted-pending-tests
2020-02-26 07:57:12bfsetfiles: + pEpkey.asc
messages: + msg21925
2020-02-26 12:42:15ganeshsetmessages: + msg21927
2020-02-27 20:29:12ganeshsetstatus: accepted-pending-tests -> accepted
2020-02-27 23:18:12bfsetfiles: + pEpkey.asc
messages: + msg21938
2020-02-28 07:37:36ganeshsetmessages: + msg21942
2020-02-28 12:25:23bfsetfiles: + pEpkey.asc
messages: + msg21951