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From Igor Katkov <>
Subject Re: Performance of get
Date Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:09:08 GMT
Answering your question and regardless Cassandra API design: I feel that the
"key miss" case should not throw an exception. Partly because there is still
an overhead, partly because it makes client code less clean and partly
because key-miss is not an exceptional situation in most cases.

On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 4:00 PM, Christopher McKenzie

> First, my email client died, so I don't know if my original response went
> out.  I apologize if there is a duplicate here:
> Thanks for the info on get_slice -- it's serving me well now. However, your
> response definitely rubbed me the wrong way.
> Exceptions are a special feature of languages often with their own
> keywords, primitives, and usually chapters in books.  I don't profess to be
> an expert in the various exception models for all the versions of various
> implementations of C++, Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, Erlang, Perl, Haskell, C#,
> Cocoa, Smalltalk, and OCaml that thrift supports.  But I would claim that,
> with such a large heterogeneous and dynamic support base, one should use
> something as varied and unpredictable as the exception handling models with
> great care and I don't "personally feel" that the understandably expected
> error case of Get should be escalated to be handled by this mechanism.
> I'm curious as to what others think about this - I realize that handling
> this case is more philosophy driven then anything.  Thanks...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan Ellis []
> Sent: Tue 10/27/2009 11:35 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Performance of get
> On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 12:20 PM, Christopher McKenzie
> <> wrote:
> > Checking for existence, a normal control flow operation, requires using a
> > try/catch method, which are not intended for normal control flow.
> That was conventional wisdom in the '80s.  Less so today.  (Along with
> gems like "there should only be one return point from any function."
> Remember that one?)
> > My experience with PHP has shown that interrupts come at a cost of about
> 200
> > times that of a type check.
> > Could Get possibly return a reserved value instead?
> Sorry, it's not worth breaking everyone's existing code to accommodate
> the PHP vm sucking.
> Have you actually tested to make sure it's not fast "enough?"  I'm
> really skeptical that even with a terrible exception design, this will
> be the bottleneck compared with network + cassandra latency + the rest
> of your code.
> If it really is your bottleneck, you have a couple options:
>  - use get_slice, which will return an empty list instead of throwing
> NFE [the thrift interface declares that it throws, but this is wrong,
> I will fix it]
>  - use python; we just did some testing with a miss-dominated workload
> and the client was not a bottleneck even at 20000+ req/s
> -Jonathan

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