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From "Alex Karasulu" <>
Subject Re: Long comparisons
Date Wed, 23 Jan 2008 00:49:31 GMT
Hi Emmanuel,

On Jan 22, 2008 7:24 PM, Emmanuel Lecharny <> wrote:

> Hi guys,
> yesturday and today, I fight against a vicious bug for hours. Thanks to
> Pierre-Arnaud and Alex, I found the reason for the failures I was
> experienced.

I empathize with your pain.  BTW I did very little to help.

However after reading your post I considered just the high level picture and
here's what I thought:

(1) these longs are ids to identify uniquely each entry in a BTree based
(2) the master table contains a durable sequence which is used to generate
these values and it presently starts the sequence at 1
(3) JDBM or other BTrees don't care if the Long ID is positive or negative
as long as it is unique for each entry in the partition's master table
(4) When you do comparisons with subtraction (x - y) to see if something is
greater than 0 or not in a comparator you don't know if x is bigger or
smaller so you cannot determine if overflows will result.

You might be able to fix this in two ways.  First you can fix the comparator
to consider buffer overflow and just not use subtraction.  You can just
check if one Long is bigger than another and return 0, -1, or 1 based on the
comparisons.  I guess both these mechanisms work.

Another thing to consider out side of fixing the comparator is to start the
sequence at LONG_MIN instead of zero.

> What happened is that the Key used to extract an entry from the master
> table was compared with the stored Keys using a compare() method which
> uses long, doing some simple if ( key1 > key2 ) then ... test.
> This is obviously wrong if we are working with unsigned longs, because
> Java does not treat longs as unsigned, so -1 is always > to any positive
> value (because the upper bit is 1 for negative values), but java >
> operator does not take this bit into account.
> After a convo with David Jencks, we agreed that we need a four steps
> comparison :
> if ( x >= 0 and y >=  0) then return x > Y
> if ( x < 0 and y >= 0) then return x
> if ( x >= 0 and y < 0) then return y
> if ( x < 0 and y < 0) then return -x < -y

I thought for the Comparator you have to return 0, -1, 1.


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