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From Paul Prescod <>
Subject Re: Memcached protocol?
Date Mon, 05 Apr 2010 17:08:30 GMT
On Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 5:29 AM, Ryan Daum <> wrote:
> It seems pretty clear to me that the full memcached protocol is not
> appropriate for Cassandra. The question is whether some subset of it is of
> any use to anybody. The only advantage I can see is that there are a large
> number of clients out there that can speak it already; but any app that is
> making extensive use of it is probably doing so in a way that would preclude
> Cassandra+Jmemcached from being a "drop-in" addition.

Here are a couple of example projects for info.


It says of "increment/decrement": "incr()/decr() methods are not
guaranteed to be atomic. On those backends that support atomic
increment/decrement (most notably, the memcached backend), increment
and decrement operations will be atomic. However, if the backend
doesn't natively provide an increment/decrement operation, it will be
implemented using a two-step retrieve/update."

add() is implied to be atomic.

Django itself does use add() in exactly one line of code that I can
find. I believe it is just an optimization (don't bother saving this
object if it already exists) and is not semantically meaningful. In
fact, I don't believe that there is a code path to the add() call but
I'm really not investigating very deeply.


Here is the complete usage of the cache_store object in Rails.

44:          cache_store.write(key, content, options)
55:          result =, options)
66:          cache_store.exist?(key, options)
94:            cache_store.delete_matched(key, options)
96:            cache_store.delete(key, options)

79:        cache_store.fetch(ActiveSupport::Cache.expand_cache_key(key,
:controller), options, &block)

Fetch is an abstraction on top of read. delete_matched is not
supported by the memcached plugin and not used by Rails.

So as far as I can see, Rails only uses write, read, exist? and delete.

It does expose more functions to the actual application, but the Rails
framework does not use them. Most of them (including
increment/decrement) are not even documented, and not supported with
most cache stores.


I checked a few of my own apps. They use get/set/add/delete, but the
add is almost always used as an optimization.

 Paul Prescod

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