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From Alberto Gomez <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Improvements on client function execution API
Date Thu, 29 Aug 2019 10:56:12 GMT
Hi Dan,

Discussing these matters by e-mail is getting tricky.

Let's see if I understand you correctly and also if I am being clear enough.

Please, see my comments inline.

On 29/8/19 0:49, Dan Smith wrote:
> Sorry for the slow response, I've been trying to decide what I think is the
> right approach here.
> For (1) - conceptually, I don't have a problem with having both blocking
> and non blocking methods on Execution. So adding blocking versions of
> execute() with a timeout seems ok. But I do think if we add them we need to
> implement them on both the client and the server to behave the same way.
> That shouldn't be too hard on the server since execute(timeout) can just
> call getResult(timeout) internally.

We have to take into account that, currently, the timeout in execute() 
is not the same thing as the timeout in getResult().

On the one hand, the timeout set in execute() (via System property in 
the Java client, and with a parameter in the native client) sets a 
readtimeout on the socket which just means that if nothing is read from 
the socket after sending the request to the server for the given 
timeout, the corresponding exception will be thrown. It looks to me more 
like a protection against possible communication failures rather than a 
mechanism to decide if results took too long to be provided. So I would 
not link the presence of the timeout parameter in the method to the 
nature of the method (blocking or non-blocking). I think we could have 
this read timeout set and at the same time keep that method as non-blocking.

On the other hand, the timeout set in getResult() is a timeout to wait 
for all the results to be received from the moment the method is invoked.

Therefore, I would not implement the blocking version of execute() on 
the server by calling getResult() at the end.

Apart from that, I doubt if it would make sense to set this readTimeout 
in the execute() methods from servers given that the communication is 
very different to the one done with clients. I also doubt that anyone 
would be interested in the blocking version of execute() on the server.

My proposal was to add the readtimeout to the execute() methods in the 
Java client in order to align the Java client and the native client. 
This change would be independent to the decision we make regarding the 
change of execute() to non-blocking. To achieve this alignment, 
alternatively, we could remove the timeout parameter in execute() from 
the native clients and have it as a global property for the client to be 
set by whatever mechanism available as it is done in the Java client today.

Were you proposing that the execute() methods with timeout were blocking 
and the ones without timeout non-blocking? Not sure if this is something 
you meant.

> For (2) - Although I think the original authors of this API probably did
> intend for execute() to be non-blocking, the fact is that it does block on
> the client and most users are probably calling execute from a client. So I
> do agree we probably shouldn't change the behavior at this point. Perhaps
> we can just clearly document the current behavior of execute() as part of
> adding these new methods. Going forward we can add new methods to Execution
> that are clearly non-blocking (submit?, invoke?) and implement them
> consistently on *both* the client in the server, but that doesn't have to
> be in the scope of this proposal.

The problem I see with adding new non-blocking methods (new/submit...) 
is that it would be a solution for the current users of the client 
regarding backwards compatibility. But, on the server side, we would 
have to move the current logic of execute() which is non-blocking to the 
new methods and change the current execute() behavior to blocking. We 
would not impact the users of the client but we would impact the users 
of the server.

Again, I would propose to aim at:

a) either leave execute() on the client as blocking

b) or change execute() on the client to be non-blocking but on the Geode 
release this is introduced, have it configurable. The default behavior 
would be blocking (deprecated behavior) but could be set to non-blocking 
with a system property. On the next release, the blocking behavior would 
be removed.

- Alberto G.

> -Dan
> On Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 4:28 AM Alberto Gomez <>
> wrote:
>> Hi Jake,
>> Please, see my answers below.
>> On 22/8/19 21:16, Jacob Barrett wrote:
>>>> On Aug 21, 2019, at 8:49 AM, Alberto Gomez <>
>> wrote:
>>>> 2. Timeout in ResultCollector::getResult() and Execution::execute()
>> blocking
>>>> Regarding the timeout in the ResultCollector::getResult() method
>> problem and the blocking/non-blocking confusion for Execution::execute()
>> two alternatives are considered:
>>>> a) Remove the possibility of setting a timeout on the
>> ResultCollector::getResult() method on the client side as with the current
>> client implementation it is useless. This could be done by removing the
>> method with the timeout parameter from the public API.
>>>> It would be advisable to make explicit in the documentation that the
>> getResult() method does not wait for results to arrive as that should have
>> already been done in the Execution::execute() invocation.
>>>> This alternative is very simple and would keep things pretty much as
>> they are today.
>>> To be honest I think approach would go against what a user “thinks” is
>> going on. Given that there hasn’t been a timeout on execute I assumed it
>> was asynchronous and that the getResult blocked until timeout or results
>> arrived. Typically these two calls were done back to back.
>> You are right if you look at the Java client. But if you look at the
>> native clients, the timeout is there, both in the C++ and the C# cases
>> which would indicate that it is a blocking call.
>> See
>> and
>>>> b) Transform the Execution::execute() method on the client side into a
>> non-blocking method.
>>>> This alternative is more complex and requires changes in all the
>> clients. Apart from that it has implications on the public client API it
>> requires moving the exceptions offered currently by the
>> Execution::execute() method to the ResultCollector::getResult() and new
>> threads will have to be managed.
>>> I think this is more in line with what users expect is going on based on
>> the current API, I know I have. If were are going to make any change I
>> think this is the one. I don’t think the behavior change is a problem since
>> it's what is expected to be happening anyway.
>>>> An outline of a possible implementation for option b) would be:
>>>>    *   Instead of invoking the ServerRegionProxy::executeFunction()
>> directly as it is done today, create a Future that invokes this method and
>> returns the resultCollector passed as parameter.
>>> Do you really think we need to introduce Futures here into the API? I
>> feel like the ResultCollector acts as the Future. I don’t think any change
>> needs to be made to the API in this regard. The ResultCollector
>> implementation would just simply block as implied by the api for the
>> timeout period. I would change the method to have units though and
>> deprecate the method without units.
>> I did not mean to introduce Futures in the API. My idea was to use Java
>> Futures internally so that the ResultCollector returned by the
>> getResult() method would wrap the Java Future with the ResultCollector
>> that would actually hold the result.
>> An alternative would be to leave the logic of blocking to each
>> implementation ResultCollector. In the case of the
>> DefaultResultCollector, we could use a CountDownLatch that would be
>> decremented when endResults() is called and that would make getResult()
>> block by using CountDown.await(...).
>> The advantage of using Futures internally is that the blocking logic
>> would not have to be implemented on every ResultCollector implementation.
>>> -Jake
>> - Alberto
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