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From "Brian Phillips" <>
Subject Re: Curator barriers missing watch events
Date Thu, 27 Mar 2014 17:25:52 GMT
I finally figured out my problem, and it was my fault. Hopefully someone else can learn from

What was happening was that I was using a zookeeper watch event to kick off a bunch of code,
which then ended up in the zookeeper/curator barrier. Since the watch thread was the one that
executed the barrier, it blocked itself from receiving any additional watch events from zookeeper,
including the ones that the barrier depended upon.

So as a general rule, DON'T BLOCK YOUR WATCH THREADS. I feel stupid for not realizing this


From: Brian Phillips []
Sent: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 15:32:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Curator barriers missing watch events

      So I'm still working on this issue. I grabbed a zookeeper only barrier implementation
from here:

This barrier makes it's own zookeeper connection separately from the curator connection that
my program uses. When I put this barrier into my program, everything works as it should, and
nobody gets stuck on the barriers. I then modified the barrier to use curators connection,
passing in CuratorFramework.getZookeeperClient().getZooKeeper() instead of connecting separately.
Once I did this, it breaks exactly as it did before when using the curator barrier.

This seems to indicate to me that something else I've done in the program has 'broken' the
zookeeper session associated with my curator connection, to the point where some watch events
no longer work.

I'm going to embark on the arduous process of trying to figure out what I'm doing thats breaking
my sessions watches. Watches not working properly is disturbing, and will certainly prevent
other parts of my program from functioning correctly, probably in less obvious ways.


From: Brian Phillips []
To: []
Sent: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:39:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Curator barriers missing watch events

Yes, there's two barrier sessions. But different barrier instances, and different barrier
paths. ):

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 25, 2014, at 8:34 PM, "Jordan Zimmerman" <> wrote:

Are you saying there are two barrier sessions? The first one works, but the second doesn’t?
Are you re-using the same path? I wonder if there are znodes left in the path or something.
Before running the second barrier session, double check that the path is empty (do a getChildren
on it). If it’s not empty that could be the problem.



From: Brian Phillips
Date: March 25, 2014 at 6:10:46 PM
Subject:  Re: Curator barriers missing watch events 



  I’ve tried, but it seems to be timing specific. Its in a rather  large complicated program,
where the first barrier always works but  the one at the end of the program usually gets stuck.
I’ve spent  all day trying to make sense of it, as my project really needs it  to work.

  I’d like to be able to figure out if the zookeeper server is  actually sending my clients
the watch events.   


  On Mar 25, 2014, at 6:53 PM, "Jordan Zimmerman" <>  wrote:
  There’s no way you can distill your usage into a test?  

  From: Brian Phillips
  Date: March 25, 2014 at 5:51:37  PM
  Subject:  Re: Curator barriers  missing watch events
Hmm, I made that change, but it didn't seem to help. The  first program made it to the barrier
enter, then the second program  entered, exited, and the first program never left the  barrier.

The second program got a node created event, but the  first program never got any event from
its watcher.  

I appreciate the help! Must be something  else.  


  On Mar 25, 2014, at 6:28 PM, "Jordan Zimmerman" <>  wrote:
  Look at line 313 and line 331. The noarg version of enter()  causes internalEnter() to call
wait even though the watcher  may have already notified. I believe line 331 should  be:  
  else if ( !hasBeenNotified.get() )  

  From: Brian Phillips
  Date: March 25, 2014 at 5:25:48  PM
  Subject:  Re: Curator barriers  missing watch events
I am using the no arg version! What's the bug?

  On Mar 25, 2014, at 6:23 PM, "Jordan Zimmerman" <>  wrote:
  Which version of enter() are you using? I see a potential bug  when the no arg version of
enter() is used.  

  From: Brian Phillips
    Reply: Brian Phillips
    Date: March 25, 2014 at 4:19:36  PM
  To: Jordan Zimmerman
    Subject:  Re: Curator barriers  missing watch events
Good idea, but yes I am. The connection state doesn’t  change while I’m executing the
barrier code. It seems to be some  kind of race condition I think, as sometimes it work and
sometimes  it doesn’t. I’ve looked through the recipe code and it looks good  as far as
I can tell though. I’m practically pulling my hair out at  this point.  

I may try a non-curator zookeeper only barrier tomorrow.  See if that works. Or I may start
trying to debug the zookeeper  client, see if its actually getting the watches but not delivering

On Mar 25, 2014, at 4:54 PM, Jordan Zimmerman  <>  wrote:
  Are you setting a ConnectionStateListener? If the connection  gets SUSPENDED or LOST then
you’d need to reinitialize your  barrier.  

  From: Brian Phillips
    Date: March 25, 2014 at 2:51:42 PM
    Subject:  Re: Curator barriers missing  watch events 
I have tried writing a test program which launches two  programs in the same manor, each makes
a connection then loops over  barriers with a Thread.sleep(random) in-between. This run  indefinitely
and everything works out fine.  

I have also tried writing my own barrier, which uses a  SharedCount, where each guy tries
to increment it until it hits a  memberQty. This too missed watch events and does not work

It’s almost as if something else that I’ve done during  the running of my program has
broken zookeepers watch events  somehow. Is there any good way to debug watch events in general?
 I’ve tried to look at the DEBUG output for my zookeeper server log,  but it looks the same
for the working vs non-working  barriers...  

On Mar 25, 2014, at 3:42 PM, Jordan Zimmerman  <>  wrote:
  Unfortunately, the barrier recipes aren’t widely used (from  what I know). So, there may
well be a bug. If you could get a test  to show the problem that would be ideal.  

  From: Brian Phillips
    Date: March 25, 2014 at 2:38:40 PM
    Subject:  Curator barriers missing watch  events 
  Hi guys, 
  I’ve been integrating curator into my project and have recently run  into an issue I just
can’t seem to make sense of. 
  I’m running two JVMs on the same host machine, each with their own  curator connection.
At the beginning of my program I’m using the  DistributedDoubleBarrier recipe, and once
again at the end of my  program. A bunch of work is done in-between, including zookeeper 
set/get/watches of other nodes. 
  I’m finding that the first double barrier, everyone always making  it through. The job-end
barrier, sometimes everyone gets through,  but more often than not one of the programs hangs
in enter's  wait(), and never gets the watch event for the ready path which  notifies it to
proceed. If I look in zookeeper, I can see that the  ready path is actually set in there.

  It would seem that the watch for one of the programs just never  triggers. 
  To simplify debugging, I’ve set both double barriers to only ever  call enter() and not
leave(). Both barriers have their own separate  path. 
  Also, the program never shuts down or disconnects from zookeeper.  It just sleeps infinitely
after it gets out of the final  barrier. 
  Any idea on how to debug this issue? I don’t mind hacking up  zookeeper/curator code to
insert my own debugging statements if it  comes to that. 
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