I’m working very hard to include some of the most important features in the new version of the Ruby Whois library.
Today, I’m very happy to report that this week I closed the issue #18 which introduces a completely new caching system for the
Whois parsers currently work, is to extract a property only the very first time it is requested.
r = Whois.query "weppos.it" # the property has never been requested before # the value is computed, cached and returned r.status # => :ok # the property has been requested before # the value is returned without further elaborations r.status # => :ok
So far, so good.
The way the system works under the hood, is to create a parser instance variable for every single requested property.
r = Whois.query "weppos.it" # get the first parser # because # r.status relies on # a # r.parser.parsers.first.status p = r.parser.parsers.first # value is not cached p.instance_variable_get("@status") # => nil p.status # => :ok # value is cached p.instance_variable_get("@status") # => :ok
So far, quite good. This approach has a couple of drawbacks.
First, it creates an instance variable for every single property. Because of the large (and increasing) number of properties, the parser object space counts a large number of instance variables. This makes it hard, for instance, to sweep the cache because you have to loop through all instance variables and remove each one.
Second, there’s a small inefficiency here. Because in Ruby you don’t have to define variables, an undefined instance variable is
nil is actually a value and properties can have a
nil value. In this implementation, you don’t have a way to distinguish when a value is nil and when it hasn’t been elaborated yet, thus
nil properties will never hit the cache.
def created_on @created_on ||= if very_expensive_scan(/created_on/) # ... set the value end end # calling #created_on several times will continue to perform # the very_expensive_scan as long as the value != nil.
The new approach uses a single instance variable called
@cached_properties as cache. The variable contains a
Hash<:key => value>, where the key is the property and the value the cached result.
If the cache doesn’t contain any key for given property, then the method hasn’t been executed yet. Cached
nil properties will return
nil without further elaboration.
#cached_properties_fetch takes care of everything.
def created_on cached_properties_fetch(:created_on) do nil end end # value is cached and returned created_on # => nil # the request hits the cache created_on # => nil
If you need to sweep the cache, reset
@cached_properties to an empty