Discussion:
Trimming the CPAN - "Automatic Purging"
(too old to reply)
Barbie
2010-03-25 13:42:58 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:12:32AM +0000, Tim Bunce wrote:
> Currently on PAUSE you have to explicitly delete old uploads.

Which often is a good thing. While BACKPAN exists, it isn't somewhere
that many go to look for old distributions. For me and probably others,
BACKPAN only distributions are ones that have been specifically marked
by the maintainers as obsolete, badly broken or similar.

Automatic deletes from CPAN would change that.

There are many distributions on CPAN that older versions work on a
particular perl/os, but more recent ones don't. Latest isn't necessarily
the greatest.

If you are going to perform this then it should really feed off the CPAN
Testers to know if a specific release has been marked as being the
latest working release for a particular perl/os.

I would also suggest extending the timeframe considerably to perhaps 3
or maybe 5 years.

Lastly I would also personnally be annoyed if only the latest versions
were available, as I often make great use of the diff tool on
search.cpan.org. Having only the latest version renders that great tool
redundant :(

> Files selected in this way would be scheduled to be deleted in a month
> and an email would be sent to the authors, just as if they'd selected
> the files for deletion via PAUSE.

There are already many authors who have non-responding email addresses
(I will get around to publicising that list at some point), so some
will likely disappear down a blackhole. What if you're about to delete a
set of distributions that should really be kept available? No one would
be listening to know that it should still be kept.

I would prefer a suggestion email to authors to delete, rather than an
email telling them that their distributions will be deleted unless they
do something.

Cheers,
Barbie.
--
Birmingham Perl Mongers <http://birmingham.pm.org>
Memoirs Of A Roadie <http://barbie.missbarbell.co.uk>
CPAN Testers Blog <http://blog.cpantesters.org>
YAPC Conference Surveys <http://yapc-surveys.org>
Andy Armstrong
2010-03-25 15:38:46 UTC
Permalink
On 25 Mar 2010, at 15:36, Chris Nandor wrote:
> I like that solution better


[snip]

But solution to what? Are we convinced there's actually a problem here?

--
Andy Armstrong, Hexten
Andy Lester
2010-03-25 15:48:19 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 25, 2010, at 10:38 AM, Andy Armstrong wrote:

> But solution to what? Are we convinced there's actually a problem here?

The first two rules of optimization club:

1) You do not optimize.
2) You do not optimize without measuring.

As soon as someone can explain specifics of the problem, including magnitude, I can begin to be concerned.

xoxo,
Andy

--
Andy Lester => ***@petdance.com => www.theworkinggeek.com => AIM:petdance
Lars Thegler
2010-03-26 09:55:13 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 4:55 PM, Ask Bjørn Hansen <***@perl.org> wrote:
>
> On Mar 25, 2010, at 8:38, Andy Armstrong wrote:
>
>>> I like that solution better
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>> But solution to what? Are we convinced there's actually a problem here?
>
> CPAN has almost 200k files.  www.cpan.org says there are "17627 modules".  rsyncing a gazillion files doesn't work that well (on the server).  Helping authors remember to delete things that are now irrelevant from the main CPAN system will make it easier to run mirrors and keep them fresh.

I appreciate that the number of files on CPAN has implications for the
infrastructure, but I feel a need to have some more factual info
before conceding to such measures.

Also, having _software_ determine what is 'irrelevant' is a dangerous
path indeed.

One of the strengths of CPAN is the low barrier of entry. If we lower
the barrier of exit, I'm not at all convinced we end up in a
significantly better place.

/Lars
Andy Lester
2010-03-26 16:02:39 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 26, 2010, at 4:55 AM, Lars Thegler wrote:

> I appreciate that the number of files on CPAN has implications for the
> infrastructure, but I feel a need to have some more factual info
> before conceding to such measures.

Absolutely. This factual info would ideally look like this:

"Of the 17,000 distros on CPAN, there are 8,000 that have versions more than a year older than the most recent one. If those distros with versions more than a year out of date were purged, the number of files would decrease from 200,000 to 120,000. This would save 7GB out of the 12GB that a full CPAN mirror takes now. Removing that 7GB would mean Benefit X to mirror owners."

Without that, how can module authors be bothered to care?


xoxo,
Andy


--
Andy Lester => ***@petdance.com => www.theworkinggeek.com => AIM:petdance
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-26 17:20:11 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 26 Mar 2010, Andy Lester wrote:

> Absolutely. This factual info would ideally look like this:
>
> "Of the 17,000 distros on CPAN, there are 8,000 that have versions more than a year older than the most recent one. If those distros with versions more than a year out of date were purged, the number of files would decrease from 200,000 to 120,000. This would save 7GB out of the 12GB that a full CPAN mirror takes now. Removing that 7GB would mean Benefit X to mirror owners."
>
> Without that, how can module authors be bothered to care?

If you don't mind me interjecting, I still can't be bothered to care. We
have basically a 12GB data set, and we're worried about that? I see that a
small barrier to bringing on new mirrors on constrained pipes, but
ultimately that's not that big a deal. Hell, there's single versions of
some Linux distros that are bigger than that.

End sum: I personally don't think this is the most pressing issue facing
CPAN. Just issue a best practices guide to all the module authors (or
include it as on-line documentation in PAUSE) and be done with it.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-26 23:02:22 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 26 Mar 2010, Jarkko Hietaniemi wrote:

> The total size is not the problem. The number of files is. Vanilla
> rsync is horribly inefficient (not the protocol, which is genius, mind)
> because a client coming by and asking for updates basically ends up
> requiring the moral equivalent of
> "find . -type f -print". Let me repeat that: each client. Not fun.

Why use rsync, then? Why not have checkpointed logs on cpan with
additions/removals logged by date so you can roll forward on the client,
processing only those files? It would be trivial to set up and a lot more
efficient.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-26 23:32:59 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 26 Mar 2010, Jarkko Hietaniemi wrote:

> We wait your implementation breathlessly. By the time all the CPAN mirrors
> have started using that, we probably will be rather blue in
> the face.

Now, let's not be that way. :-) You need to pick your problem domain. You
guys can try to go through a lot of machinations to establish storage
policies which account for the million corner cases necessary to support all
the various versions of libraries & perl, and are relatively painless to
implement without raising the ire of all the contributors.... or just
improve the efficiency of synchronizing the mirrors.

<G> I know what sounds a hell of a lot easier and faster to me... *Really*
fast for anyone familiar with the PAUSE code base.

Rsync by itself is definitely a bad idea for the number of files, I agree
whole-heartedly. But it's the weakest and simplest link to replace.

Would I be happy to help? Sure. But I don't feel like diving into a
foreign code base all by myself? No. I don't have that many spare cycles.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Andy Armstrong
2010-03-27 07:45:17 UTC
Permalink
On 26 Mar 2010, at 23:32, Arthur Corliss wrote:
> But it's the weakest and simplest link to replace.


Quite a bit of the discussion here on this topic has revolved around an explanation of why that isn't the case. Setting up rsync is trivial for mirror operators. Any alternative would likely be less so.

--
Andy Armstrong, Hexten
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-27 00:23:08 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 26 Mar 2010, Ask Bjørn Hansen wrote:

> I find it curious that everyone who's actually involved in syncing the files or running mirror servers seem to think it generally sounds like a good idea and everyone who doesn't say it's "not worth the effort".

Sure, I don't run a CPAN mirror, but I do manage many, many terrabytes of
storage as part of my day job. I think it's a tad presumptuous to disregard
input just because we're not in your inner sanctum. As I mentioned in a
follow up e-mail: this is simply a matter of selecting the correct problem
domain. I believe that streamlining the mirroring process will provide
greater gains for less effort.

That's not to say that pursuing other efficiencies isn't worthwhile, just
that you need to prioritize.

But what the hell do I know. I don't run a *CPAN* mirror, so I must be
freaking clueless...

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Elaine Ashton
2010-03-27 00:59:30 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 26, 2010, at 8:23 PM, Arthur Corliss wrote:
>
> Sure, I don't run a CPAN mirror, but I do manage many, many terrabytes of
> storage as part of my day job. I think it's a tad presumptuous to disregard
> input just because we're not in your inner sanctum. As I mentioned in a
> follow up e-mail: this is simply a matter of selecting the correct problem
> domain. I believe that streamlining the mirroring process will provide
> greater gains for less effort.
>
> That's not to say that pursuing other efficiencies isn't worthwhile, just
> that you need to prioritize.
>
> But what the hell do I know. I don't run a *CPAN* mirror, so I must be
> freaking clueless...

Oh, don't be such a drama queen. I rebuilt and helped run nic.funet.fi for 2 years which is the canonical mirror for a large number of mirrors and the perspective of having a few terabytes spinning in storage changes quite dramatically when you are actually serving a few terabytes to thousands of clients. CPAN grew to be quite a burden on the site not only because of the high demand, but also because of the multitude of small files and I'm sure other mirrors feel similarly burdened.

The sort of pruning Tim brought up has long been an idea, but with the current and growing size of the archive, something does need to be done to alleviate the burden not only on the canonical mirrors, but also on the random folks who want to grab a local mirror for themselves. In my present work environment, 12gb isn't a lot of disk space, but it's a lot considering I don't need to install perl modules daily and the vast majority of it I'll likely never use. It would be a kindness to both the mirror operators and to the end-users to trim it down to a manageable size.

As for efficiency, rsync remains a good tool for the job that works on nearly every platform which is a rather tall order to match with any other solution. Relegating the cruft to BackPAN to make the current CPAN slimmer and less demanding on all fronts is an idea that would be welcomed by more than just mirror ops.

The only snag I can forsee in trimming back on the abundance of modules is the case where some modules have version requirements for other modules where it will barf with a mismatch/newer version of the required module (I bumped into this recently but can't remember exactly which module it was) but I think it's rare and the practise should be discouraged.

e.
Andy Armstrong
2010-03-27 07:49:37 UTC
Permalink
On 27 Mar 2010, at 00:59, Elaine Ashton wrote:
> The only snag I can forsee in trimming back on the abundance of modules is the case where some modules have version requirements for other modules where it will barf with a mismatch/newer version of the required module (I bumped into this recently but can't remember exactly which module it was) but I think it's rare and the practise should be discouraged.


Maybe that could be solved by having the clients (and maybe search.cpan.org) automagically fall back to a backpan mirror?

And, yes, if it's considered a good idea I /am/ prepared to do something about it.

--
Andy Armstrong, Hexten
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-27 18:52:05 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 26 Mar 2010, Elaine Ashton wrote:

> Oh, don't be such a drama queen. I rebuilt and helped run nic.funet.fi for 2 years which is the canonical mirror for a large number of mirrors and the perspective of having a few terabytes spinning in storage changes quite dramatically when you are actually serving a few terabytes to thousands of clients. CPAN grew to be quite a burden on the site not only because of the high demand, but also because of the multitude of small files and I'm sure other mirrors feel similarly burdened.

Don't be such an arrogant prick. You guys made baseless assumptions about
people's experience with storage management in an attempt to diregard their
opinions. That's being a dick by any metric.

> The sort of pruning Tim brought up has long been an idea, but with the current and growing size of the archive, something does need to be done to alleviate the burden not only on the canonical mirrors, but also on the random folks who want to grab a local mirror for themselves. In my present work environment, 12gb isn't a lot of disk space, but it's a lot considering I don't need to install perl modules daily and the vast majority of it I'll likely never use. It would be a kindness to both the mirror operators and to the end-users to trim it down to a manageable size.

I think I was quite explicit in saying that efficiencies should be pursued
in multiple areas, but the predominant bitch I took away from your thread
dealt with the burden of synchronizing mirrors. What's the easiest way to
address that pain? I don't believe it's your method. I'd look into the
size issue *after* you address the incredible inefficiencies of a simple
rsync.

> As for efficiency, rsync remains a good tool for the job that works on nearly every platform which is a rather tall order to match with any other solution. Relegating the cruft to BackPAN to make the current CPAN slimmer and less demanding on all fronts is an idea that would be welcomed by more than just mirror ops.

Rsync is an excellent tool for smaller file sets. I use it to sync my own
mirrors, those mirrors are typically ~10k files. Am I surprised that it
doesn't scale when you're stat'ing every single file? No. Which is why
alternatives should be considered. A simple FTP client playing a
transaction log forward is trivial.

I maintain several mirrors, most with rsync. But that's with a clear
understanding of the size of the file set. Use the right tool for the job.
And it seems apparent to me that rsync isn't the right tool for ~200k files.

> The only snag I can forsee in trimming back on the abundance of modules is the case where some modules have version requirements for other modules where it will barf with a mismatch/newer version of the required module (I bumped into this recently but can't remember exactly which module it was) but I think it's rare and the practise should be discouraged.

Try doing a simple cost-benefit analysis. What you guys are proposing will
help. But not as much as simpler alternatives. Like replacing rsync with a
perl script and modifying PAUSE to log the transactions.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Nicholas Clark
2010-03-27 19:33:13 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 10:52:05AM -0800, Arthur Corliss wrote:

> I think I was quite explicit in saying that efficiencies should be pursued
> in multiple areas, but the predominant bitch I took away from your thread
> dealt with the burden of synchronizing mirrors. What's the easiest way to
> address that pain? I don't believe it's your method. I'd look into the
> size issue *after* you address the incredible inefficiencies of a simple
> rsync.

"I"

You?

Or someone else?


I am quite happy to agree that your understanding and experience of storage
management is better than mine. But that's not the key question, in a
volunteer organisation. The questions I ask, repeating Jan's comments in
another message, are.

Nicholas Clark
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-27 19:52:07 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 27 Mar 2010, Nicholas Clark wrote:

> "I"
>
> You?
>
> Or someone else?
>
>
> I am quite happy to agree that your understanding and experience of storage
> management is better than mine. But that's not the key question, in a
> volunteer organisation. The questions I ask, repeating Jan's comments in
> another message, are.

Oh, I understand that fully. And I'd be happy to lend some of my time. But
you don't make people inclined to help when people are lobbing snarky
comments like "we'll wait breathlessly for you to do it." The impression
I'm getting from most of you right now is that you're hell bent on solving
the problem your way, and no one is interested in exploring the technical
merits of other approaches.

Hell, I would even help with work towards your desired method *if* I thought
that was the consensus after a genuine exchange and consideration of ideas.
I definitely won't should it appear that we have some kind of elitist cabal
that will make their decision in isolation. If that's going to be the case
then this should have never been raised on an open forum like the module
author's list.

Quite frankly, at times some discussions on this list fail the concept of a
technical meritocracy, and tend towards an established aristocracy.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Eric Wilhelm
2010-03-27 23:24:43 UTC
Permalink
# from Arthur Corliss
# on Saturday 27 March 2010 12:52:

>...should it appear that we have some kind of elitist cabal that will
>make their decision in isolation.

More likely there will not be some decision made because there will be
no action taken.

>If that's going to be the case then this should have never been raised
>on an open forum like the module author's list.

I'll agree, but not for that reason.


# from Shlomi Fish on Tuesday 23 March 2010 02:14:
>>>>So I've been thinking that maybe we should trim the CPAN and remove
>>>>older versions like that so it will contain much less cruft. What do
>>>>you think?

I think I am not going to take the trouble to delete anything and
don't want anybody doing it on my behalf. Thanks for asking.


Though the list has, as usual, moved on from that question to something
which is off-topic for module authors.

>Quite frankly, at times some discussions on this list fail the concept
> of a technical meritocracy, and tend towards an established
> aristocracy.

And you should win stuff for reading it!

--Eric
--
Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do. The best way to
predict the future is to invent it.
--Alan Kay
---------------------------------------------------
http://scratchcomputing.com
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Arthur Corliss
2010-03-28 00:44:49 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 27 Mar 2010, Jarkko Hietaniemi wrote:

> The time-honored tradition of many open source communities is to talk. And
> talk. And talk. The problem is that this solves nothing. To do, does.
>
> You are free to decide to take this as a personal insult.

I didn't take it as an insult, I took it as what it was -- a dodge. You
already have your minds made up and are not willing to evaluate options
on their merits.

Let's just be honest about what's going on here.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Eric Wilhelm
2010-03-28 08:08:34 UTC
Permalink
# from Andreas J. Koenig
# on Saturday 27 March 2010 21:02:

>If you want to study the CPAN "checkpointed logs" solution running on
>the very CPAN for exactly one year now: File::Rsync::Mirror::Recent
>
>What needs to be done is really extremely trivial: rewrite it in C and
>convince the rsync people to incoude it in rsync code base. Just that.

Or even write an rsync daemon (or proxy perhaps) in Perl. So, when the
client asks for a file, you can answer without checking the disk. Can
something like that work with an unmodified client, or does the amount
of data needed to answer a naive client overwhelm any potential gain?

Unfortunately the protocol is not formally documented and the perl code
I've seen (File::RsyncP) seems to be lagging:

http://lists.samba.org/archive/rsync/2008-October/021912.html

If it's possible for a mirror operator to install something that will
immediately save them a ton of disk I/O without any changes upstream or
downstream, then the person who makes the decision (and does the work)
gets the benefit. Scenarios where authors or downstream mirrors must
do something special are a tougher sell.

--Eric
--
Turns out the optimal technique is to put it in reverse and gun it.
--Steven Squyres (on challenges in interplanetary robot navigation)
---------------------------------------------------
http://scratchcomputing.com
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Nicholas Clark
2010-03-31 10:11:18 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 01:03:51PM +1100, Adam Kennedy wrote:
> I've said nothing till now, because I figured more noise wouldn't help much.
>
> But I quite like the rsync daemon/proxy idea, and as it so happens I'm
> attending the OzLabs Unconference in 3 weeks time to hang out with
> Tridge, Rusty and the other Australia C/Kernel/Samba/RSync elites.
>
> So I'd be happy to raise any issues or ideas in this area with them in
> person over beers.

I can see two possibly useful things (and I have no idea if either is yet
possible, or a great understanding of how the protocol works)

1: stateful rsync daemon which doesn't scan all the time, either by
a: Actually having a means to update
b: Simply telling fibs, and pretending that the file system it scanned
$n minutes ago is still current. (Which I think would work, at least for
a mirror where files aren't edited (much) - if the server discovers that
the client's view of that file *is* out of date, then scan that file for
real, and give the up to date truth)

2: federated (or federate-able) server (or proxy) - so that you can say
"hand this subtree off to that other server"
This would allow the (fast, existing, C) rsync server to serve most of
(say) funet.fi, handing off to a stateful server for the CPAN subtree.

Nicholas Clark
David Nicol
2010-04-01 04:39:27 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 7:43 AM, Ask Bjørn Hansen <***@perl.org> wrote:
> The main point here is that we can't use 20 inodes per distribution.

so don't. How much reengineering would be needed to keep CPAN in a
database instead of a file system?
David Precious
2010-04-01 09:50:16 UTC
Permalink
On Thursday 01 April 2010 05:39:27 David Nicol wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 7:43 AM, Ask Bjørn Hansen <***@perl.org> wrote:
> > The main point here is that we can't use 20 inodes per distribution.
>
> so don't. How much reengineering would be needed to keep CPAN in a
> database instead of a file system?

It'd mean each and every mirror operator changing how they sync their mirrors,
and how access is provided...

Currently, it's dead simple to sync a copy of CPAN via rsync, offer it up via
whatever combination of HTTP, FTP and rsync you prefer, and job done - you're
doing a valuable public service by offering a CPAN mirror.

Make that process a lot harder (setting up database replication, custom
scripts, etc etc) and a lot of people just won't do it.

There's a lot to be said for keeping things simple.

(FWIW, I run mirrors.uk2.net, and appreciated the fact it was simple and easy
to get a mirror up and running without investing much time at all.
Personally, I have no real problem with the current size of CPAN or the
overhead of updating via rsync, but that's just my opinion.)

Cheers

Dave P
Arthur Corliss
2010-04-01 17:49:05 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 31 Mar 2010, Ask Bjørn Hansen wrote:

<snip>

> Everyone who doesn't run mirrors says "oh, who cares - it doesn't bother me".
>
> Some of us who does run mirrors say "actually, that sort of thing is important and an actual issue.".
>
> Others reply "then you're doing it wrong". But nobody came with something reality based that'd be "right".

Some revisionist history here. I run mirrors (not CPAN) and know full well
the limitations and inefficiencies of rsync. To date, not one of you have
been able to refute that for this scale rsync is hurting you. But most of
you have been obstinately against find a more efficient way of doing things.

I've made a viable suggestion, and offered some time to work on it. But
you've made it abundantly clear that it's not welcome.

> The main point here is that we can't use 20 inodes per distribution. It's Just Nuts. Sure, it's only something like 400k files/inodes now - but at the rate it's going it'll be a lot more soon enough.

Thats a problem, but not likely the biggest drag on server I/O you're
suffering. Might that be <ahem> rsync?

> HOWEVER: Right now more of those are wasted on other things (.readme files, symlinks, ...) -- some of which have solutions in progress already.
>
> I don't think anyone is arguing that we NEED to delete the old distributions; only that they do indeed have a cost to keep around in the main CPAN.

You're right, I'm not arguing the need for the cruft. I've only pointed out
the obvious reality that trimming files only postpones the I/O management
issues that at some time are likely going to have to be addressed, anyway.
And that you'll get less bang for the buck (or man hour) by treating the
symptoms, not the disease.

For the record: if that's what you want to do, have at it. Let's just not
be disingenuous about the fact that we're abrogating our responsibilities as
technologists by refusing to address the real problems and weaknesses of the
platform.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-04-01 23:50:19 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2 Apr 2010, Ask Bjørn Hansen wrote:

> I can't believe I'm doing this, but ...

:-) All for entertainment's sake...

>>> The main point here is that we can't use 20 inodes per distribution. It's Just Nuts. Sure, it's only something like 400k files/inodes now - but at the rate it's going it'll be a lot more soon enough.
>>
>> Thats a problem, but not likely the biggest drag on server I/O you're
>> suffering. Might that be <ahem> rsync?
>
> That reply doesn't even make sense.

Then you've ignored most of this thread. Inode counts themselves aren't
indicative of anything. It's the I/O access patterns that are. And my
assertion has been that the excessive stats by the server are a bigger
impediment to synchronization than the inode count.

>> You're right, I'm not arguing the need for the cruft. I've only pointed out
>> the obvious reality that trimming files only postpones the I/O management
>> issues that at some time are likely going to have to be addressed, anyway.
>> And that you'll get less bang for the buck (or man hour) by treating the
>> symptoms, not the disease.
>>
>> For the record: if that's what you want to do, have at it. Let's just not
>> be disingenuous about the fact that we're abrogating our responsibilities as
>> technologists by refusing to address the real problems and weaknesses of the
>> platform.
>
> You are confusing "we", "I" and "you" again.

Perhaps.

> ....
>
> Yes, I (and I'm guessing everyone else who have thought about it for more than say 5 seconds) agree that having rsync remember the file tree to save the disk IO for each sync sounds like an "obvious solution".
>
> But reality is more complicated. If it was such an obviously good solution someone would have done it by now. (For starters play this question: "What is the kernel cache?").

It hasn't been done because its outside of the scope of design for rsync.
It's meant to sync arbitrary filesets in which many, if not all, changes are
made out of band. It's decidely non-trivial to implement in that mode
unless you're willing to accept a certain window in which your database may
be out of date.

But, in a situation like PAUSE, where the avenues in which files can be
introduced into the file sets is controlled, it does become trivial. It's
the gatekeeper, it knows who's been in or out.

> Andreas' solution is much more sensible -- and as have been pointed out before we DO USE THAT; but the problem here is not with clients who are interested enough to do something special and dedicate resources to their CPAN mirroring.

By all means, I'm not opposed to any solution that actually addresses the
problem. I don't agree that would be the fast time to implementation, but
no questions as to whether File::Rsync::Mirror::Recent would help things.
I'd support (and help) that goal.

My objections are more properly directed to those stuck on just deleting
files from the tree.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-04-02 17:10:06 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2 Apr 2010, Ask Bjørn Hansen wrote:

>
> On Apr 2, 2010, at 1:50, Arthur Corliss wrote:
>
>> And my assertion has been that the excessive stats by the server are a bigger
>> impediment to synchronization than the inode count.
>
> Well, then one of us don't understand how file systems etc work. :-)

Indeed. If you're running UFS perhaps you might have a gripe. But with
many filesystems in use supporting dynamic allocation groups with the inode
data stored near the actually data blocks, along with b-tree indexing, this
isn't as much of an issue for many of us.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
David Nicol
2010-04-04 21:11:11 UTC
Permalink
> It hasn't been done because its outside of the scope of design for rsync.
> It's meant to sync arbitrary filesets in which many, if not all, changes are
> made out of band.  It's decidely non-trivial to implement in that mode
> unless you're willing to accept a certain window in which your database may
> be out of date.
>
> But, in a situation like PAUSE, where the avenues in which files can be
> introduced into the file sets is controlled, it does become trivial.  It's
> the gatekeeper, it knows who's been in or out.

so the requirements for the Solution To The Problem Which Solves A
More General Problem Than The Immediate Problem And Will Therefore
Make Whoever Sets It Up A Hero include a replacement for the current
mirroring technology stack that is tailored to mirroring distributions
possibly including on-demand caching and expiration and that is
trivial to install -- something like

perl -MCPAN -e 'install STTPWSAMGPTTIPAWTMWSIUAH::Mirrorsuite'
nohup nice nice perl -MSTTPWSAMGPTTIPAWTMWSIUAH::Mirrorsuite -e
'mirror cpan.org .' &
Arthur Corliss
2010-04-05 16:24:19 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 4 Apr 2010, David Nicol wrote:

> so the requirements for the Solution To The Problem Which Solves A
> More General Problem Than The Immediate Problem And Will Therefore
> Make Whoever Sets It Up A Hero include a replacement for the current
> mirroring technology stack that is tailored to mirroring distributions
> possibly including on-demand caching and expiration and that is
> trivial to install -- something like
>
> perl -MCPAN -e 'install STTPWSAMGPTTIPAWTMWSIUAH::Mirrorsuite'
> nohup nice nice perl -MSTTPWSAMGPTTIPAWTMWSIUAH::Mirrorsuite -e
> 'mirror cpan.org .' &

Gee, kind of looks like your tongue got superglued to your cheek. You're
mischaracterizing the problem. The immediate problem *is* the I/O load
caused by synchronizing mirrors with rsync, *not* supporting CPAN clients,
right? If you have data indicating something different, then please provide
it so we can all get educated.

Regardless, it should be that easy to install, but it should also install a
script into bin/ to make ye ole cron job just as succinct as what's
currently being used with rsync.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-04-01 23:55:14 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2 Apr 2010, Ask Bjørn Hansen wrote:

> Talk = ZzZz.
> Code = Interesting.
> Deployment = Useful.

Please. The talk serves to gauge interest before I waste any time
implementing a solution that's already been rejected out of hand. As I've
mentioned repeatedly I already use rsync, albeit on much smaller filesets
which don't kill my servers.

So far I haven't seen much openness by those actually affected by the problem
in considering an alternative to rsync.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 08:02:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Andreas J. Koenig wrote:

> Says the author of a module named Paranoid. A lovely coincidence.

:-) As they say, just because you may be paranoid, it doesn't mean that no
one's out to get you.

> If you want to study the CPAN "checkpointed logs" solution running on
> the very CPAN for exactly one year now: File::Rsync::Mirror::Recent
>
> What needs to be done is really extremely trivial: rewrite it in C and
> convince the rsync people to incoude it in rsync code base. Just that.
>
> So are you a taker, Arthur?

Heh, nice. That sounds much more involved than my proposal, plus it leaves
us entirely at the mercy of an outside organization (the rsync folks) who
may or may not care about our needs.

I think it would be a worthy cause ultimately, but certainly a much longer
time to implementation, and considerably more effort. Kind of sounds like
the normal stonewalling I've been getting these last few days by our
resident rsync fetishists.

Very ironic. I use the hell out of rsync, just more discriminately that you
guys, and yet I'm public enemy number one.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Elaine Ashton
2010-03-28 01:38:16 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 27, 2010, at 2:52 PM, Arthur Corliss wrote:
>
> Don't be such an arrogant prick. You guys made baseless assumptions about
> people's experience with storage management in an attempt to diregard their
> opinions. That's being a dick by any metric.

Actually, I thought I was merely offering my opinion both as the sysadmin for the canonical CPAN mothership and as an end-user. If that makes me a prick, well, I suppose I should go out and buy one :)

> I think I was quite explicit in saying that efficiencies should be pursued
> in multiple areas, but the predominant bitch I took away from your thread
> dealt with the burden of synchronizing mirrors. What's the easiest way to
> address that pain? I don't believe it's your method. I'd look into the
> size issue *after* you address the incredible inefficiencies of a simple
> rsync.

And you're disregarding a considerable problem that rsync is a well-established tool for mirroring that is easy to use and works on a very wide range of platforms. Asking mirror ops to adopt a new tool for mirroring one mirror, when they often have several or more, likely won't be met with much enthusiasm and would create two tiers of CPAN mirrors, those using rsync and those not, which would not only complicate something which should remain simple but, again, doesn't address the size of the archive and the multitude of small files that are always a consideration no matter what you're serving them up with.

> Rsync is an excellent tool for smaller file sets. I use it to sync my own
> mirrors, those mirrors are typically ~10k files. Am I surprised that it
> doesn't scale when you're stat'ing every single file? No. Which is why
> alternatives should be considered. A simple FTP client playing a
> transaction log forward is trivial.

FTP? It's 2010 and very few corp firewalls allow ftp in or out. I can't remember the last time I even used ftp come to think of it. I had to go through 2 layers of network red tape just to get rsync for a particular system I wanted to mirror CPAN to at work. Asking for FTP would have been met with a big no or a cackle, depending on which of the nyetwork masters got the request first.

> Try doing a simple cost-benefit analysis. What you guys are proposing will
> help. But not as much as simpler alternatives. Like replacing rsync with a
> perl script and modifying PAUSE to log the transactions.

How is replacing rsync, a standard and widely used tool, simpler for mirror ops? I suppose I don't understand the opposition to trimming off the obvious cruft on CPAN to lighten the load when BackPAN exists to archive them. There is already CPAN::Mini (which was created back when CPAN was an ever-so-tiny 1.2GB) so it's not as though lightening the load is a new idea or an unwelcome one.

e.
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-28 04:52:22 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 27 Mar 2010, Elaine Ashton wrote:

> Actually, I thought I was merely offering my opinion both as the sysadmin for the canonical CPAN mothership and as an end-user. If that makes me a prick, well, I suppose I should go out and buy one :)

:-) You'll have to pardon my indiscriminate epithets. The barbs are coming
from multiple directions. My point still stands, however. Your experience,
however worthy, has zero bearing on whether or not my experience is
just as worthy. Even moreso when you guys have zero clue who you're talking
to. And you shouldn't have to know. I would have thought simple communal
and professional courtesy would be extended and all points considered in
earnest. Which does not appear to be the case.

> And you're disregarding a considerable problem that rsync is a well-established tool for mirroring that is easy to use and works on a very wide range of platforms. Asking mirror ops to adopt a new tool for mirroring one mirror, when they often have several or more, likely won't be met with much enthusiasm and would create two tiers of CPAN mirrors, those using rsync and those not, which would not only complicate something which should remain simple but, again, doesn't address the size of the archive and the multitude of small files that are always a consideration no matter what you're serving them up with.

Ah, you're one of them. All objects look like nails when all you have is a
hammer, eh? Rsync is a good tool, but like Perl, it isn't the perfect tool
for all tasks. You've obviously exceeded what the tool was designed for,
it's only logical to look for (or write) another tool. Ironically, what I'm
suggesting is so basic that rsync can be replaced by a script which will
likely run on every mirror out there with no more fuss than rsync.

> FTP? It's 2010 and very few corp firewalls allow ftp in or out. I can't remember the last time I even used ftp come to think of it. I had to go through 2 layers of network red tape just to get rsync for a particular system I wanted to mirror CPAN to at work. Asking for FTP would have been met with a big no or a cackle, depending on which of the nyetwork masters got the request first.

Sounds like you may be hamstrung by your own bureacracy, but that's rarely
the case in most the places I've worked. Not to mention that between
passive mode FTP or even using an HTTP proxy (most of which support FTP
requests) what I'm proposing is relatively painless, simple, and easy to
secure. This concern I suspect is a non-issue for most mirror operators.
Even if it was, allow them to pull it via HTTP for all I care. Either one
is significantly more efficient than rsync.

> How is replacing rsync, a standard and widely used tool, simpler for mirror ops? I suppose I don't understand the opposition to trimming off the obvious cruft on CPAN to lighten the load when BackPAN exists to archive them. There is already CPAN::Mini (which was created back when CPAN was an ever-so-tiny 1.2GB) so it's not as though lightening the load is a new idea or an unwelcome one.

I'm not opposed to trimming the cruft, but I am opposed to ignorant
knee-jerk reactions bereft of any empirical data (or at least you haven't
shared). The cruft, while being cruft, isn't inherently evil. You have a
basic I/O and state problem. And the I/O generated is predominantly caused
by rsync trying to (re)assemble state on the file set, *per* request. More
appallingly, most of that state image being generated is state that hasn't
changed in quite awhile. Literally years in many cases. So why are we
wasting cycles & I/O performing massively redundant work?

That's why having PAUSE implement a transaction log, and perhaps a cron job
on the master server doing daily checkpointed file manifests is so much more
efficient. An in-sync mirror only needs to download the lastest transaction
logs and play them forward (delete certain files, download others, etc).
And, gee, just about every author on the list could write *that* sync agent
in an evening. Out-of-sync mirrors can start by working off the checkpoint
manifest, get what's missing, and rolling forward.

What you're overlooking is that CPAN has, and will, continue to grow. Even
if you remove the cruft now at some point it might grow to the same size
just with fresh files. When that happens, you're right back where you are
now. Rsync can't cut it, it wasn't designed for this.

Whether you like it or not, even on a pared down CPAN rsync is easily your
most inefficient process on the server. If you're not willing to optimize
that, then you really don't care about optimization at all.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Elaine Ashton
2010-03-28 14:13:45 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 28, 2010, at 12:52 AM, Arthur Corliss wrote:
>
> :-) You'll have to pardon my indiscriminate epithets. The barbs are coming
> from multiple directions. My point still stands, however. Your experience,
> however worthy, has zero bearing on whether or not my experience is
> just as worthy. Even moreso when you guys have zero clue who you're talking
> to. And you shouldn't have to know. I would have thought simple communal and professional courtesy would be extended and all points considered in earnest. Which does not appear to be the case.

I'm not sending any barbs, only my reasonable opinion borne from years on the reality-based operations side of this equation. As for who you are, it doesn't matter as I work daily with those who wrote, and continue to write, large chunks of operating systems, X, etc., and though their legend may precede them when it comes to my having to implement what works fabulously in their imagination, I do my best to bring them back to the grim reality that is operations. It's a frequent problem of engineers and those of us stuck having to live with and fix their grand ideas. Lofty goals usually die somewhere between dreams and production.

> Ah, you're one of them. All objects look like nails when all you have is a
> hammer, eh? Rsync is a good tool, but like Perl, it isn't the perfect tool
> for all tasks. You've obviously exceeded what the tool was designed for,
> it's only logical to look for (or write) another tool. Ironically, what I'm suggesting is so basic that rsync can be replaced by a script which will likely run on every mirror out there with no more fuss than rsync.

Well, you'll have to forgive those who mock your näivete as if it were so basic and trivial to replace rsync, it would have been done several times over by now as it's limitations are well known to all who use it on any large scale. However, it is a well-known, well-used, multi-platform and time-tested tool that will not be unseated very easily without good reason and a reason that reads something along the lines of improving performance on an archive that should have been trimmed back a bit is not a compelling reason for adoption.

> What you're overlooking is that CPAN has, and will, continue to grow. Even if you remove the cruft now at some point it might grow to the same size just with fresh files. When that happens, you're right back where you are now. Rsync can't cut it, it wasn't designed for this.

And this is a good point to make, yes, it will continue to grow and I know that the current manager(s) of nic.funet.fi have commented on the burden it presents to the system which is also home to a number of other mirrors. You cannot assume that the generosity and the resources of the mirror ops are limitless and finding out where that limit lies will come too late to make amends.

Pruning back the archive is a good compromise until and unless another solution can be done that will not bother the mirror ops terribly much in terms of real work.

e.
d***@hudes.org
2010-03-28 14:28:48 UTC
Permalink
The entire point of rsync is to send only changes.
Therefore once your mirror initially syncs the old versions of modules is
not the issue. Indeed, removing the old versions would present additional
burden on synchronization! The ongoing burden is the ever-growing CPAN.

The danger in a CPAN::Mini and in removing old versions is that one is
assuming that the latest and greatest is the one to use. This is false.
Take the case of someone running old software. I personally support
systems still running Informix Dyanmic Server 7.31 as well as systems
running the latest IDS 11.5 build. We have Perl code that talks to IDS. If
DBD::Informix withdrew support for IDS 7.31 I would need both the last
version that supported it as well as the current. I can get away with
upgrading Perl, maybe, but to upgrade the dbms is much more problematic
(license, for one thing; SQL changes another).
Shlomi Fish
2010-03-28 15:31:51 UTC
Permalink
On Sunday 28 Mar 2010 17:28:48 ***@hudes.org wrote:
> The entire point of rsync is to send only changes.
> Therefore once your mirror initially syncs the old versions of modules is
> not the issue. Indeed, removing the old versions would present additional
> burden on synchronization! The ongoing burden is the ever-growing CPAN.
>
> The danger in a CPAN::Mini and in removing old versions is that one is
> assuming that the latest and greatest is the one to use. This is false.
> Take the case of someone running old software. I personally support
> systems still running Informix Dyanmic Server 7.31 as well as systems
> running the latest IDS 11.5 build. We have Perl code that talks to IDS. If
> DBD::Informix withdrew support for IDS 7.31 I would need both the last
> version that supported it as well as the current. I can get away with
> upgrading Perl, maybe, but to upgrade the dbms is much more problematic
> (license, for one thing; SQL changes another).

You can always get the old versions from the Backpan, which keeps all
historical versions - so it's a non-issue.

Regards,

Shlomi Fish

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Shlomi Fish http://www.shlomifish.org/
Best Introductory Programming Language - http://shlom.in/intro-lang

Deletionists delete Wikipedia articles that they consider lame.
Chuck Norris deletes deletionists whom he considers lame.

Please reply to list if it's a mailing list post - http://shlom.in/reply .
Burak Gürsoy
2010-03-28 16:14:09 UTC
Permalink
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:***@iglu.org.il]
> Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010 6:32 PM
> To: module-***@perl.org
> Cc: ***@hudes.org
> Subject: Re: Trimming the CPAN - "Automatic Purging"
>
> On Sunday 28 Mar 2010 17:28:48 ***@hudes.org wrote:

> > The danger in a CPAN::Mini and in removing old versions is that one is
> > assuming that the latest and greatest is the one to use. This is false.

Ok, what about this project then?

http://cp5.5.3an.barnyard.co.uk/
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 07:39:12 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, ***@hudes.org wrote:

> The entire point of rsync is to send only changes.
> Therefore once your mirror initially syncs the old versions of modules is
> not the issue. Indeed, removing the old versions would present additional
> burden on synchronization! The ongoing burden is the ever-growing CPAN.

That's not entirely true, particularly when you're talking about rsync.
Remember, old synced data doesn't have to be transfered, but it still needs
to be checked for potential changes, something rsync does for every request.
That generates a crap load of I/O in the form of stats on the server.

> The danger in a CPAN::Mini and in removing old versions is that one is
> assuming that the latest and greatest is the one to use. This is false.
> Take the case of someone running old software. I personally support
> systems still running Informix Dyanmic Server 7.31 as well as systems
> running the latest IDS 11.5 build. We have Perl code that talks to IDS. If
> DBD::Informix withdrew support for IDS 7.31 I would need both the last
> version that supported it as well as the current. I can get away with
> upgrading Perl, maybe, but to upgrade the dbms is much more problematic
> (license, for one thing; SQL changes another).

This is a good example of the potentials of pruning, to be certain. Even if
all the authors dutifully documented all the necessary scenarios that would
require pinning specific versions on CPAN it's almost guaranteed that
there's still going to be collateral damage.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
David Landgren
2010-03-30 10:50:35 UTC
Permalink
On 29/03/2010 09:39, Arthur Corliss wrote:
> On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, ***@hudes.org wrote:
>
>> The entire point of rsync is to send only changes.
>> Therefore once your mirror initially syncs the old versions of modules is
>> not the issue. Indeed, removing the old versions would present additional
>> burden on synchronization! The ongoing burden is the ever-growing CPAN.
>
> That's not entirely true, particularly when you're talking about rsync.
> Remember, old synced data doesn't have to be transfered, but it still needs
> to be checked for potential changes, something rsync does for every
> request.
> That generates a crap load of I/O in the form of stats on the server.

I believe cvsup (FreeBSD's source distribution mechanism) knows how to
avoid this cost by serialising context between runs.

That may be an avenue worth exploring, since it should be a less risky
proposition for a mirror operator to download a tried and true
technology rather than some pie-in-the-sky new system that may run out
of steam in a year's time.

David

>> The danger in a CPAN::Mini and in removing old versions is that one is
>> assuming that the latest and greatest is the one to use. This is false.
>> Take the case of someone running old software. I personally support
>> systems still running Informix Dyanmic Server 7.31 as well as systems
>> running the latest IDS 11.5 build. We have Perl code that talks to
>> IDS. If
>> DBD::Informix withdrew support for IDS 7.31 I would need both the last
>> version that supported it as well as the current. I can get away with
>> upgrading Perl, maybe, but to upgrade the dbms is much more problematic
>> (license, for one thing; SQL changes another).
>
> This is a good example of the potentials of pruning, to be certain. Even if
> all the authors dutifully documented all the necessary scenarios that would
> require pinning specific versions on CPAN it's almost guaranteed that
> there's still going to be collateral damage.
>
> --Arthur Corliss
> Live Free or Die
>


--
naked, but wearing blinding lights! were it a pretty girl, she'd be
surrounded as a flame by moths
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-30 16:59:44 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 30 Mar 2010, David Landgren wrote:

> I believe cvsup (FreeBSD's source distribution mechanism) knows how to avoid
> this cost by serialising context between runs.
>
> That may be an avenue worth exploring, since it should be a less risky
> proposition for a mirror operator to download a tried and true technology
> rather than some pie-in-the-sky new system that may run out of steam in a
> year's time.

You had me excited at first, but then the home page said:

To update non-RCS files, CVSup uses the highly efficient rsync algorithm,
developed by Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras.

Looks like its speed benefits are due to knowledge of specific file types
(RCS and log files) so it can grab just the new content for transfer. For
all other types it falls back onto rsync, which they say is built into
CVSup.

If there isn't an existing (and portable solution) out there, I've got a few
ideas I may have to mock up and try out myself.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-30 18:33:16 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 30 Mar 2010, Matija Grabnar wrote:

> Er, not exactly. Read
> http://www.cvsup.org/howsofast.html

I had read http://www.cvsup.org/faq.html#features item #3.

> From what I can see, cvsup uses the rsync algorithm on a file-by-file basis
> (it uses just the differential send part of the rsync algorithm). It doesn't
> rsync the whole tree, which was what I understood to be the original problem
> (wasn't the complaint about the flood of stats?).

Sounds like I may have interpreted the FAQ incorrectly, then. Thanks for
pointing that out. I have a few question, though: the explanation says:

"At the same time, the Tree Differ generates a list of the server's
files."

That seems to infer that it's doing the exact same thing as rsync, so all
the stats are still present on the server, right?

Nowhere do I see it mentioning that the daemon is maintaining state between
requests. The primary speed-ups (beyond special file update handling) is
better use of bidirectional bandwidth.

Do you have access to a cvsup server so you can verify its behavior?

> So if you want to make a tool that works fine for large mirrors, your
> priority apparently should be to reduce the "lots of stats" part which is
> used to determine exactly what files need to be considered for checking.
> (Rsync already makes sure all the *other* I/O operations are minimized).

Agreed.

> Now the key, as I see it, is that unlike all the other use cases where rsync
> is used, large mirrors are likely to have their directories directly
> transfered from another mirror. So, the client that pulled the tree update
> down could store a list of changed files, and the server could then just use
> that list to determine which files
> need to be synced to the downstream mirror. (Sure, the original site has to
> generate the list, but if they use a tool like PAUSE to upload the files,
> that shouldn't be hard to do).

Agreed, but I'm not sure we've gotten past the stat storm on the server,
though.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Rene Schickbauer
2010-03-30 20:08:57 UTC
Permalink
Hi!

>> Now the key, as I see it, is that unlike all the other use cases where
>> rsync is used, large mirrors are likely to have their directories
>> directly transfered from another mirror. So, the client that pulled
>> the tree update down could store a list of changed files, and the
>> server could then just use that list to determine which files
>> need to be synced to the downstream mirror. (Sure, the original site
>> has to generate the list, but if they use a tool like PAUSE to upload
>> the files, that shouldn't be hard to do).
>
> Agreed, but I'm not sure we've gotten past the stat storm on the server,
> though.

Ok, this might be a complete wacky idea, but couldn't we use some kind
of version control system.

Before you kick my backside, hear me out: This is of course very
theoretical at the moment, there are probably quite a number of pitfalls
and kinks to work out...

Currently, there's CPAN and Backpan. With Backpan playing the archive.

Suppose, just suppose we see that as some kind of old style, simplistic
version control system, e.g. CPAN is a checkout of the latest version of
all files and Backpan holding the older versions.

Now, if we where to put all files into mercurial, git or the like,
renaming the files so they don't have version numbers in their names but
storing them sequentially as commits so new versions update old ones.

Now, a new mirror would (once) ask for the latest version without the
history of all the files, meaning it will have to make a complete
"checkout" of the latest version. No way around it, really. We call that
version FOO.

But, suppose 100 modules get updated on the main server, so the server
stores 100 changesets, which in many version control systems are stored
sequentially in a single file. Call that version BAR.

Now the mirror wants to update again, calls the server and says, "i have
version FOO, give me all updates". So the server looks up version FOO in
the file (via some shorter index list), open the main file, seeks to the
indicated position and basically dumps the rest of the file via network
to the mirror. The mirror then applies this changeset by taking each
chunk as a patch and applying it to the corresponding file(s).

For fast mirroring and legacy clients, the main server still would have
a full directory checkout, allowing the oldstyle sync. Compressed,
slurpable tarballs can also be autogenerated like once a month.

This could also solve some long-standing problems, like having modules
available for legacy production environments. A user might still be able
to checkout a specific version of CPAN depending on his/her needs, like
"give me CPAN as it was on 23th December 2007".


This could work like any modern, distributed version control systems.
That way, the user would also be able to apply local patches and/or
deciding which changesets to pull in from the main server. Or have a
complete, local mirror and one for the production systems where he/she
pulls in changes after they have been reviewed.


NOW its time to kick my butt, if you want to.

LG
Rene
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-30 22:26:45 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 30 Mar 2010, Rene Schickbauer wrote:

<snip>

> This could work like any modern, distributed version control systems. That
> way, the user would also be able to apply local patches and/or deciding which
> changesets to pull in from the main server. Or have a complete, local mirror
> and one for the production systems where he/she pulls in changes after they
> have been reviewed.
>
>
> NOW its time to kick my butt, if you want to.

:-) No one can accuse you of not being ambitious. It's a neat idea, but
definitely an involved solution. While it could solve a lot of problems I
think the human component is going to be your biggest obstacle. As we've
seen from the reaction to the heretical notion of ditching rsync I have to
imagine getting everyone to ditch their favorite RCS tool would be even
worse.

Basically, we should just all get onboard with git (disclaimer: I don't use
git myself, so my understanding may be deficient), a decentralized
distributed RCS. And have developers periodically merge their branches.

Tough sell. It probably would solve a bunch of issues, but you're treading
into vi versus emacs territory. ;-)

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Nicholas Clark
2010-03-31 08:47:38 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 10:08:57PM +0200, Rene Schickbauer wrote:

> Now, if we where to put all files into mercurial, git or the like,
> renaming the files so they don't have version numbers in their names but
> storing them sequentially as commits so new versions update old ones.

Sort of like Schwern already did?

http://github.com/gitpan

Nicholas Clark
Rene Schickbauer
2010-03-31 09:06:36 UTC
Permalink
Nicholas Clark wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 10:08:57PM +0200, Rene Schickbauer wrote:
>
>> Now, if we where to put all files into mercurial, git or the like,
>> renaming the files so they don't have version numbers in their names but
>> storing them sequentially as commits so new versions update old ones.
>
> Sort of like Schwern already did?
>
> http://github.com/gitpan

Yeah, looks about right at first glance. Didn't know that one,
definitively have to look into this a bit more ;-)

LG
Rene
David Landgren
2010-03-31 14:42:27 UTC
Permalink
On 30/03/2010 20:33, Arthur Corliss wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Mar 2010, Matija Grabnar wrote:
>
>> Er, not exactly. Read
>> http://www.cvsup.org/howsofast.html
>
> I had read http://www.cvsup.org/faq.html#features item #3.
>
>> From what I can see, cvsup uses the rsync algorithm on a file-by-file
>> basis (it uses just the differential send part of the rsync
>> algorithm). It doesn't rsync the whole tree, which was what I
>> understood to be the original problem (wasn't the complaint about the
>> flood of stats?).
>
> Sounds like I may have interpreted the FAQ incorrectly, then. Thanks for
> pointing that out. I have a few question, though: the explanation says:
>
> "At the same time, the Tree Differ generates a list of the server's
> files."
>
> That seems to infer that it's doing the exact same thing as rsync, so
> all the stats are still present on the server, right?
>
> Nowhere do I see it mentioning that the daemon is maintaining state between
> requests. The primary speed-ups (beyond special file update handling) is
> better use of bidirectional bandwidth.

Well I do know the client has a .sup file that runs into the dozens of
megabytes for each kernel tree you track.

If you want to avoid a stat storm you are going to trade stats for disk
space, by way of a cache. And that may be what these sup files are, but
it may also be a red herring (they look like CVS descriptors).

I've never dived into the protocol. The fact that the client is written
in Modula-3 scares me.

> Do you have access to a cvsup server so you can verify its behavior?

On any FreeBSD machine that syncs the kernel tree. If you're stuck, send
me an SSH public key (RSA >= 2048 if possible, non-blank local pass
phrase) and I shall set you up.

David

--
There's bum trash in my hall and my place is ripped
I've totaled another amp, I'm calling in sick
Matija Grabnar
2010-03-30 17:54:48 UTC
Permalink
Arthur Corliss wrote:
> You had me excited at first, but then the home page said:
>
> To update non-RCS files, CVSup uses the highly efficient rsync
> algorithm,
> developed by Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras.
>
> Looks like its speed benefits are due to knowledge of specific file types
> (RCS and log files) so it can grab just the new content for transfer.
> For
> all other types it falls back onto rsync, which they say is built into
> CVSup.
Er, not exactly. Read
http://www.cvsup.org/howsofast.html

From what I can see, cvsup uses the rsync algorithm on a file-by-file
basis (it uses just the differential send part of the rsync algorithm).
It doesn't rsync the whole tree, which was what I understood to be the
original problem (wasn't the complaint about the flood of stats?).

So if you want to make a tool that works fine for large mirrors, your
priority apparently should be to reduce the "lots of stats" part which
is used to determine exactly what files need to be considered for
checking. (Rsync already makes sure all the *other* I/O operations are
minimized).

Now the key, as I see it, is that unlike all the other use cases where
rsync is used, large mirrors are likely to have their directories
directly transfered from another mirror. So, the client that pulled the
tree update down could store a list of changed files, and the server
could then just use that list to determine which files
need to be synced to the downstream mirror. (Sure, the original site has
to generate the list, but if they use a tool like PAUSE to upload the
files, that shouldn't be hard to do).
David Cantrell
2010-03-30 10:55:16 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 07:28:48AM -0700, ***@hudes.org wrote:

> The danger in a CPAN::Mini and in removing old versions is that one is
> assuming that the latest and greatest is the one to use. This is false.

And this is why I run cp5.6.2an.barnyard.co.uk etc.

It wouldn't be difficult for someone to take my code and customise it
further to, eg, also "pin" a few modules that rely on the particular
versions of third-party libraries that you use.

--
David Cantrell | Bourgeois reactionary pig

Eye have a spelling chequer / It came with my pea sea
It planely marques four my revue / Miss Steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a quay and type a word / And weight for it to say
Weather eye am wrong oar write / It shows me strait a weigh.
Randy Kobes
2010-03-28 16:48:00 UTC
Permalink
On 2010-03-28, at 9:13 AM, Elaine Ashton wrote:

> On Mar 28, 2010, at 12:52 AM, Arthur Corliss wrote:
>
>> What you're overlooking is that CPAN has, and will, continue to grow. Even if you remove the cruft now at some point it might grow to the same size just with fresh files. When that happens, you're right back where you are now. Rsync can't cut it, it wasn't designed for this.
>
> And this is a good point to make, yes, it will continue to grow and I know that the current manager(s) of nic.funet.fi have commented on the burden it presents to the system which is also home to a number of other mirrors. You cannot assume that the generosity and the resources of the mirror ops are limitless and finding out where that limit lies will come too late to make amends.
>
> Pruning back the archive is a good compromise until and unless another solution can be done that will not bother the mirror ops terribly much in terms of real work.
>
> e.

Has some sort of disk quota system for CPAN author accounts ever been considered?

--
best regards,
Randy
Andy Armstrong
2010-03-28 18:39:56 UTC
Permalink
On 28 Mar 2010, at 19:32, Elaine Ashton wrote:
> Jarkko and I were talking about it this morning - as he's not in favour of pruning - while trying to think of a way around the size problem and he reminded me of the idea that, if I recall correctly was Adreas' suggestion a while back, there be an A, B and C 'PAN' of sorts where you could pull varying degrees of content - sort of CPAN:Mini writ large. I don't think that idea ever got any traction because it wouldn't really solve some of the issues for the major upstream mirrors and the mechanics of deciding where to draw the lines between them. I still think it's a good idea though.

We're nearly there if A == a CPAN::Mini style mirror, B == the current mirror pruned and C == backpan.

So the actions to make that happen are:

* give the current clients specific support for this
* generate a master mini mirror that other mini mirrors can pull from.
* prune

If we agree that this is a good solution I'm happy to do some work on it - I could host the mini master and I'd be happy to send Andreas a patch for CPAN.pm to support this scheme.

--
Andy Armstrong, Hexten
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 07:56:12 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Andy Armstrong wrote:

> We're nearly there if A == a CPAN::Mini style mirror, B == the current mirror pruned and C == backpan.
>
> So the actions to make that happen are:
>
> * give the current clients specific support for this
> * generate a master mini mirror that other mini mirrors can pull from.
> * prune
>
> If we agree that this is a good solution I'm happy to do some work on it - I could host the mini master and I'd be happy to send Andreas a patch for CPAN.pm to support this scheme.

It should be pointed out that this is only viable under the assumption that
you have a separate pool of servers for each tier. Again, this is just
load balancing, not load optimization.

That said, if you have the volunteers, then why not. Perhaps I can offer a
system to support mirroring up here in Alaska.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Elaine Ashton
2010-03-28 18:32:40 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 28, 2010, at 12:48 PM, Randy Kobes wrote:

>
> Has some sort of disk quota system for CPAN author accounts ever been considered?

Not specifically, no, at least not that I'm aware of. That would have to be implemented on PAUSE and quotas frequently end up not solving the real problem and create a headache both for the sysadmin and the users.

Jarkko and I were talking about it this morning - as he's not in favour of pruning - while trying to think of a way around the size problem and he reminded me of the idea that, if I recall correctly was Adreas' suggestion a while back, there be an A, B and C 'PAN' of sorts where you could pull varying degrees of content - sort of CPAN:Mini writ large. I don't think that idea ever got any traction because it wouldn't really solve some of the issues for the major upstream mirrors and the mechanics of deciding where to draw the lines between them. I still think it's a good idea though.

I do very much like Tim's proposal for giving old modules a push to BackPAN since, with proper communication of the changes to the authors along with a way to mark exceptions, this would rid CPAN of a lot of cruft that should be on BackPan anyway.

e.
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 07:52:40 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Elaine Ashton wrote:

> I do very much like Tim's proposal for giving old modules a push to BackPAN since, with proper communication of the changes to the authors along with a way to mark exceptions, this would rid CPAN of a lot of cruft that should be on BackPan anyway.

I'm not trying to be a dick (not intentionally, anyway), but isn't that
basically making your problem BackPan's problem?

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
David Nicol
2010-03-31 04:52:20 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 2:32 PM, Elaine Ashton <***@mac.com> wrote:
>
> On Mar 28, 2010, at 12:48 PM, Randy Kobes wrote:
>
>>
>> Has some sort of disk quota system for CPAN author accounts ever been considered?
>
> Not specifically, no, at least not that I'm aware of. That would have to be implemented on PAUSE and quotas frequently end up not solving the real problem and create a headache both for the sysadmin and the users.

new proposal: Make modules "pay rent" in order to remain on a mirror.
Rent could be in the form of actual user interest, or good reviews.

Use as a dependency could count as rent.

Or simple downloading. A mirror server that functioned more as a
cache than a mirror would also work: only the files that are actually
requested need be stored, as long as the mirror server knows how to
get something else if requested. If the root cause of The Pain turns
out to be "full mirroring" then do partial mirroring, and automate the
partition with a policy instead of trying to plan the partition.




--
question doubt
Rene Schickbauer
2010-03-31 09:21:01 UTC
Permalink
David Nicol wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 2:32 PM, Elaine Ashton <***@mac.com> wrote:
>> On Mar 28, 2010, at 12:48 PM, Randy Kobes wrote:
>>
>>> Has some sort of disk quota system for CPAN author accounts ever been considered?
>> Not specifically, no, at least not that I'm aware of. That would have to be implemented on PAUSE and quotas frequently end up not solving the real problem and create a headache both for the sysadmin and the users.
>
> new proposal: Make modules "pay rent" in order to remain on a mirror.
> Rent could be in the form of actual user interest, or good reviews.

Hmm, this can *only* work as long as that model is not applied to the
main server: Just because a module is seldomly used doesn't
automatically mean it is not vital to *someone*.

Modules that might fit into this category are many Acme modules. For
example, i use Acme::Don't sometimes, cause it's better better for
temporarly commenting out code sections than "if(0)"....

LG
Rene
David Landgren
2010-03-31 14:45:15 UTC
Permalink
On 31/03/2010 06:52, David Nicol wrote:

> new proposal: Make modules "pay rent" in order to remain on a mirror.
> Rent could be in the form of actual user interest, or good reviews.
>
> Use as a dependency could count as rent.

Put a value tag on things and people will game the system to ensure
their files are up on top. Doomed to failure.

David

--
There's bum trash in my hall and my place is ripped
I've totaled another amp, I'm calling in sick
David Nicol
2010-03-31 18:20:44 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:45 AM, David Landgren <***@landgren.net> wrote:
> On 31/03/2010 06:52, David Nicol wrote:
>
>> new proposal: Make modules "pay rent" in order to remain on a mirror.
>> Rent could be in the form of actual user interest, or good reviews.
>>
>> Use as a dependency could count as rent.
>
> Put a value tag on things and people will game the system to ensure their
> files are up on top. Doomed to failure.

I'm not suggesting that there be any kind of who-is-on-top game, the
game is who falls out the bottom. If someone cares enough to want to
game the system to ensure their files don't fall out, those files will
surely stay. "pay rent" here is intended to mean something like
tracking usage over a long period in order to authoritatively identify
"old and useless" based on metrics and a policy. Especially combined
with a Dnews-like trick file server that's really a cache and only
stores things people actually ask it for, which responds to the OP's
pain as I understand it, which is a frustration that their CPAN mirror
contains a lot of cruft. Although it still isn't clear why that is a
problem.

Purpose-based partitioning could be performed like deferred sidewalks:
put the pavement where the students make the trails in the grass.
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-28 17:20:51 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Elaine Ashton wrote:

> I'm not sending any barbs, only my reasonable opinion borne from years on the reality-based operations side of this equation. As for who you are, it doesn't matter as I work daily with those who wrote, and continue to write, large chunks of operating systems, X, etc., and though their legend may precede them when it comes to my having to implement what works fabulously in their imagination, I do my best to bring them back to the grim reality that is operations. It's a frequent problem of engineers and those of us stuck having to live with and fix their grand ideas. Lofty goals usually die somewhere between dreams and production.

Ah, let the chest thumping begin. My point is that regardless of where the
idea comes from if it comes from a solid rationale it should be given
consideration. And to date I have yet to see any one of you refute my
technical understanding of the problem, only my political understanding of
the problem. I/O is the issue, and it is driven predominantly by rsync.

> Well, you'll have to forgive those who mock your näivete as if it were so basic and trivial to replace rsync, it would have been done several times over by now as it's limitations are well known to all who use it on any large scale. However, it is a well-known, well-used, multi-platform and time-tested tool that will not be unseated very easily without good reason and a reason that reads something along the lines of improving performance on an archive that should have been trimmed back a bit is not a compelling reason for adoption.

Naivete? Again: show me where my assertions about the primary root of your
problem is incorrect? Show me how pruning CPAN isn't a temporary band-aid
that fails to address a fundamental weakness in the syncing process? you
haven't. You can try to dress it up any way you like in effort to discredit
me, but until you do based on the facts, you have nothing.

Rsync is a good tool, but for different use case scenarios.

> And this is a good point to make, yes, it will continue to grow and I know that the current manager(s) of nic.funet.fi have commented on the burden it presents to the system which is also home to a number of other mirrors. You cannot assume that the generosity and the resources of the mirror ops are limitless and finding out where that limit lies will come too late to make amends.

<G> And you make my point for me. I'm sure he would love to find a more
efficient use of his I/O. I assume nothing, I only allow that you'll find
more interest than you assume in managing I/O. Nor does what I'm proposing
preclude the intractable from continuing to use rsync. Given that rsync is
your driver of the I/O problem taking away any significant percentage of the
problem with have the largest dividends.

> Pruning back the archive is a good compromise until and unless another solution can be done that will not bother the mirror ops terribly much in terms of real work.

At least you admit you're only treating the symptoms now, not the disease
itself. Sure, it will buy you some time, but there'll also be some
political problems to work through which will likely burn as much if not
more manhours than just treating the disease. And in the end time runs
out and the problem remains.

Look, I don't care if you guys decide against it, but let's be honest about
the compromises you're making. Hell, pruning isn't even a compromise, it's
not a solution, it's only a delaying tactic.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Nicholas Clark
2010-03-28 16:20:34 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:52:22PM -0800, Arthur Corliss wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Mar 2010, Elaine Ashton wrote:
>
> >Actually, I thought I was merely offering my opinion both as the sysadmin
> >for the canonical CPAN mothership and as an end-user. If that makes me a
> >prick, well, I suppose I should go out and buy one :)
>
> :-) You'll have to pardon my indiscriminate epithets. The barbs are coming
> from multiple directions. My point still stands, however. Your experience,
> however worthy, has zero bearing on whether or not my experience is
> just as worthy. Even moreso when you guys have zero clue who you're talking

Are you running a large public mirror site, where you don't even have
knowledge of who is mirroring from you?

(Not even knowledge, let alone channels of communication with, let alone
control over)

Because (as I see it, not having done any of this) the logistics of that is
going to have as much bearing on trying to change protocols as the actual
technical merits of the protocol itself.

Most of the cost of rsync is an externality to the clients. If one has an
existing mirror, one is using rsync to keep it up to date, what's the
incentive to change?

> Sounds like you may be hamstrung by your own bureacracy, but that's rarely
> the case in most the places I've worked. Not to mention that between
> passive mode FTP or even using an HTTP proxy (most of which support FTP
> requests) what I'm proposing is relatively painless, simple, and easy to
> secure. This concern I suspect is a non-issue for most mirror operators.
> Even if it was, allow them to pull it via HTTP for all I care. Either one
> is significantly more efficient than rsync.

I'm missing something here, I suspect. How can HTTP be more efficient than
rsync? The only obvious method to me of mirroring a CPAN site by HTTP is to
instruct a client (such as wget) to get it all. In which case, in the course
of doing this the client is going to recurse over the entire directory tree
of the server, which, I thought, was functionally equivalent to the behaviour
of the rsync server.

Nicholas Clark
Aristotle Pagaltzis
2010-03-29 02:13:47 UTC
Permalink
* Nicholas Clark <***@ccl4.org> [2010-03-28 18:20]:
> I'm missing something here, I suspect.

Yes, you are.

> How can HTTP be more efficient than rsync? The only obvious
> method to me of mirroring a CPAN site by HTTP is to instruct
> a client (such as wget) to get it all.

As Arthur has repeatedly pointed this out: by first fetching
a transaction log from the remote end, then playing it forward
from the last synch point.

(This is essentially what CPAN::Mini already does.)

It’s not very efficient protocol-wise, but it sure is rather
cheap in terms of server I/O.

Regards,
--
Aristotle Pagaltzis // <http://plasmasturm.org/>
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 07:50:16 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Nicholas Clark wrote:

> Are you running a large public mirror site, where you don't even have
> knowledge of who is mirroring from you?
>
> (Not even knowledge, let alone channels of communication with, let alone
> control over)
>
> Because (as I see it, not having done any of this) the logistics of that is
> going to have as much bearing on trying to change protocols as the actual
> technical merits of the protocol itself.

I do run mirrors and am mirrored from. Not on the scale of CPAN (in terms
of file count), but having been long aware of the effect of rsync servers I
have explored the scalability aspects of it.

It should have been obvious that trying to facilitate a cut-over to a new
syncing tool can't be done on this scale in one fell swoop. Obviously,
there'd have to be a gradual migration where protocols are supported
concurrently, much like FTP & rsync are currently both supported. We add a
new option and encourage people to move over. Since we already have a list
of the public mirrors we should have some idea of where to start that
conversation.

> Most of the cost of rsync is an externality to the clients. If one has an
> existing mirror, one is using rsync to keep it up to date, what's the
> incentive to change?

Common sense and professional courtesy. Especially because it's likely that
some "clients" running public mirrors may be a sync source for some private
mirrors. They may not feel the pain of the master repositories, but they
certainly share a portion. And it's not likely that many mirrors have a
capital budget to support scaling a free service, so it would be best to
make efficient use of those resources.

> I'm missing something here, I suspect. How can HTTP be more efficient than
> rsync? The only obvious method to me of mirroring a CPAN site by HTTP is to
> instruct a client (such as wget) to get it all. In which case, in the course
> of doing this the client is going to recurse over the entire directory tree
> of the server, which, I thought, was functionally equivalent to the behaviour
> of the rsync server.

You are missing something, but I may have not been explicit enough. HTTP or
FTP can easily be the payload transport, once you know the precise files
that need to be transferred. That is tremendously more efficient than what
rsync does on the server. So, use rsync (or FTP mgets, etc.) to transfer
your transaction logs, compile a list of new files to retrieve, and use the
very common and low-overhead protocols to transfer the files...

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 08:09:58 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Dana Hudes wrote:

> Use of wget and http to download an entire site means numerous TCP opens and HTTP GET requests. The entire point of rsync is that it knows there are numerous downloads. It does ONE open. This allows TCP slow start to ramp up

That wasn't exactly what I was suggesting. And we'll ignore HTTP's
Keep-Alive support for the time being which negates your TCP open issue. If
you're fetching transaction logs by which you can determine beforehand
precisely what files to retrieve HTTP or FTP will beat the pants off of
allowing rsync to tell you what you need to retrieve and delivering it.

> A multi-download session with ftp is also efficient. Clients like ncftp have batch transfer built in. If setting up an initial mirror you might do better with ftp but maintaining it is where rsync rules.
>
> I haven't looked closely but I have the impression from watching wget work that wget using HTTP::Date opens two TCP connections per file: it opens a socket and issues a réquest for timestamp then closes it then opens a socket to issue an http GET if it wants the file. Then it closes that socket and the process repeats for next file. It keeps hoping for the timestanp even if the server doesn't support http::Date
>
> Rsync and ftp are stateful; http is not. For absolute getting one file http is better since you skip the whole login thing and setting up data and control sockets.
> So a CPAN client session will do better with an http mirror: it gets a tar.gz opens it up processes it and then goes back many seconds from original request for the first dependency. Repeat until entire dependency tree is completed

Dude, you definitely don't understand what we're discussing. And neither
rsync, ftp, or http are stateful -- that's the problem. Rsync has to
build a picture of the repositories state *per* request, even the old files
that haven't been touched in years. It then uses that information to select
and deliver the new files you need. Maintaining state means that you
maintain knowledge of state over time, across multiple requests. And rsync
doesn't do that, it simulates that. Quite cleverly, but in an very
expensive way which is borne by the server.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 08:18:06 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Dana Hudes wrote:

> I agree with Elaine
> I can't get rsync through the firewall at work. Not even tunneled.
> For CPAN I use CPAN::Mini. It uses http and it does the job though it does force the local CPAN to blead. My local solution to other things we need such as Blastwave (we run Solaris) I have a special squid proxy with restrictive acls lots of disk space and long retention. That means we only download any package once: what needed when needed. That does create a problem of using bandwidth during the day but it works out ok in the end.
>
> Rsync is better than having to hack reverse caching proxies for each site of interest.

Your use of a proxy is commendable. The whole proxy thing was just thrown
out there as possible options to address concerns Elaine brought up that is
debatably non-pertinent to the majority of the public mirror operators. I
know it's a complete non-issue for me. The whole point was that if she
didn't want to get permission from her network folks to run another protocol
(in her case she was scoffing at FTP -- that's totally 1980s, man! ;-) she
could use one that was very likely already open, like HTTP, and use that as
the payload transport layer. Making the CPAN mirror HTTP-browseable is
completely palatable to me. Not for crawling, but for specific file
retrievals, assuming you're working off of the transaction logs.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-28 16:50:49 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Ask Bjørn Hansen wrote:

> You are misunderstanding the problem of changing the mirroring mechanism.

I am not misunderstanding, I'm just willing to accept the reality for what
it is. Rsync does not scale. Period.

> Making new software is nice and good -- Andreas already has something that's better for the PAUSE data.

<G> That makes my point all the more compelling, then. Some of the work
has already been done.

> Getting 1000s of mirrors to use your software (rather than rsync which they use for ALL OTHER mirrors -- not so easy.

Perhaps, but it's also possible that it might not be as bad as you think,
either. You have a strong case to be made that the entire ecosystem
benefits from making this change (particularly in a tiered mirroring
environment), and I'd be surprised if the majority of the mirror operators
aren't sympathetic and cooperative. As a sys-admin I watch my SAR reports
like a hawk, I'm sure they're no different.

And that's not to say you have to eliminate rsync. If you can get half of
them to stop, you'll still have some significant long term gains.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Burak Gürsoy
2010-03-26 16:41:23 UTC
Permalink
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ask Bjørn Hansen [mailto:***@perl.org]
> Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 5:11 PM
> To: Tim Bunce
> Cc: cpan-***@perl.org; module-***@perl.org; Andreas J. Koenig
> Subject: Re: Trimming the CPAN - "Automatic Purging"
>


> On Search CPAN maybe BackPAN could be used to pull in older versions for diffs
> etc...

There is also gitPAN fort hat stuff: http://github.com/gitpan
Jonathan Yu
2010-03-28 21:43:00 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM, Dana Hudes <***@hudes.org> wrote:
> But you can't use CPAN.pm on the Backpan.
Can't you? It's just a mirror, so if you point CPAN.pm to the backpan,
you should be able to install packages from there (though to get the
version you want you'll need to specify the author/package name
manually I think).

Of course, I've never done this myself, so I could be mistaken
>
> ------Original Message------
> From: Shlomi Fish
> To: module-***@perl.org
> Cc: ***@hudes.org
> Sent: Mar 28, 2010 11:31 AM
> Subject: Re: Trimming the CPAN - "Automatic Purging"
>
> On Sunday 28 Mar 2010 17:28:48 ***@hudes.org wrote:
>> The entire point of rsync is to send only changes.
>> Therefore once your mirror initially syncs the old versions of modules is
>> not the issue. Indeed, removing the old versions would present additional
>> burden on synchronization! The ongoing burden is the ever-growing CPAN.
>>
>> The danger in a CPAN::Mini and in removing old versions is that one is
>> assuming that the latest and greatest is the one to use. This is false.
>> Take the case of someone running old software. I personally support
>> systems still running Informix Dyanmic Server 7.31 as well as systems
>> running the latest IDS 11.5 build. We have Perl code that talks to IDS. If
>> DBD::Informix withdrew support for IDS 7.31 I would need both the last
>> version that supported it as well as the current.  I can get away with
>> upgrading Perl, maybe, but to upgrade the dbms is much more problematic
>> (license, for one thing; SQL changes another).
>
> You can always get the old versions from the Backpan, which keeps all
> historical versions - so it's a non-issue.
>
> Regards,
>
>        Shlomi Fish
>
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
> Best Introductory Programming Language - http://shlom.in/intro-lang
>
> Deletionists delete Wikipedia articles that they consider lame.
> Chuck Norris deletes deletionists whom he considers lame.
>
> Please reply to list if it's a mailing list post - http://shlom.in/reply .
>
>
> Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with Nextel Direct Connect
David Golden
2010-03-28 22:04:03 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 5:43 PM, Jonathan Yu <***@cpan.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM, Dana Hudes <***@hudes.org> wrote:
>> But you can't use CPAN.pm on the Backpan.
> Can't you? It's just a mirror, so if you point CPAN.pm to the backpan,
> you should be able to install packages from there (though to get the
> version you want you'll need to specify the author/package name
> manually I think).

As always with perl, "it depends". They are laid out just as a normal
CPAN repository, so if you have one in your urllist, something
specified as author/distribution.tar.gz might well resolve. *However*,
they don't necessarily have up-to-date index files. Compare
timestamps on 02packages.details.txt


http://backpan.cpan.org/modules/
http://backpan.perl.org/modules/

Anything in your urllist might at some point be used for an index, so
make sure you use backpan.cpan.org and not backpan.perl.org since the
former seems to keep other necessary CPAN index files up-to-date.

-- David
David Cantrell
2010-03-30 11:51:22 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 06:04:03PM -0400, David Golden wrote:

> As always with perl, "it depends". They are laid out just as a normal
> CPAN repository, so if you have one in your urllist, something
> specified as author/distribution.tar.gz might well resolve.

Not just "might well resolve". It *will* work. If you use one of my
cpXXXan mirrors, you're hitting a BackPAN mirror with a custom index.

> *However*,
> they don't necessarily have up-to-date index files. Compare
> timestamps on 02packages.details.txt

Indeed. I don't imagine that that would be hard for Andreas to keep in
sync!

--
David Cantrell | even more awesome than a panda-fur coat

"IMO, the primary historical significance of Unix is that it marks the
time in computer history where CPUs became so cheap that it was possible
to build an operating system without adult supervision."
-- Russ Holsclaw in a.f.c
Aristotle Pagaltzis
2010-03-29 01:53:08 UTC
Permalink
* Graham Barr <***@pobox.com> [2010-03-26 10:20]:
> On Mar 25, 2010, at 8:42 AM, Barbie wrote:
> >Lastly I would also personnally be annoyed if only the latest
> >versions were available, as I often make great use of the diff
> >tool on search.cpan.org. Having only the latest version
> >renders that great tool redundant :(
>
> I use that too :-) and it is very annoying that some authors
> automatically delete previous releases when they upload a new
> one.

Why does that have to be constrained by the current availability
of modules? Couldn’t search.cpan.org simply not honour deletions?
Would there be any serious reason against this?

Regards,
--
Aristotle Pagaltzis // <http://plasmasturm.org/>
Aristotle Pagaltzis
2010-03-29 03:45:32 UTC
Permalink
* Dana Hudes <***@hudes.org> [2010-03-29 04:30]:
> Using http for this is inefficient It makes for slower file
> transfer because you keep rerunning path mtu probes and tcp
> slow start It makes extra socket handles opening and closing

Errm, you missed the last decade. (HTTP/1.1 has keep-alive and
pipelining and it’s 10 years old now.)

> In the case of CPAN you don't have to go the log route. If the
> mirror knows it last synch time it can use rsync to get the
> modlist et al and import to SQLITE then query by date to come
> up with the list of files to fetch -- via ftp.

Say what? Stat via rsync to feed an SQLite database that drives
an FTP transfer? Could you even possibly come up with a more
Rube-Goldbergian construction?

Regards,
--
Aristotle Pagaltzis // <http://plasmasturm.org/>
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 08:31:50 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010, Dana Hudes wrote:

> Why is rsync a problem? Where is the bottleneck in the protocol or the code implementing it?
> Specifics!
> SAR is antiquated doesn't give the info you really need. Using a linux system? Use procallator and feed resulting collected data to ORCA. Better yet, use DTrace or at least truss. Compile rsync with profiling code -- use Sun Studio 12 it runs on Linux as well as Solaris and its a free download.

Wow. You kids and your new shiny toys... Look, here's a nice little
specific example for you. I run an rsync server that contains 8,700+ files
and directories. Now, say I want to sync a mere thirty-two new files.
Making that request on my server causes the rsync daemon to stat the entire
hierarchy to the tune of 18,000+ f & lstats. Per request. Freaking ouch.
And that's a tolerable use-case in my mind for rsync. That's a hell of alot
I/O generated which would take but a couple of stats to retrieve via HTTP or
FTP. Assuming you knew what you needed already.

Now, when you add in a file set of sufficient size to exhaust filesystem
caching, plus a crap load of concurrent requests, my archaic SAR reports
written on stone tables tend to say your I/O wait states starts pushing the
load levels unacceptably high, not to mention the pages being thrashed from
memory's cache pool, high interrupts and excessive seeks on the drives, and
so on and so forth. <sniff> Cavemen are people, too.

Now, look at the size of CPAN with *hundreds* of thousands of files. Can
you imagine that amount of I/O *per* request?!

> From a network protocol perspective rsync is quite good. If your network capacity is so large that it exceeds bandwidth or IOPs of your disks you probably can afford better disks or a more efficient disk storage layout.
> Are mirrors like nic.funet.fi running multiple gigabit WAN connections? If so they could sure demand stream more than a bunch of SATA2 disks can provide.
>
> Without performance data its a waste of time to argue against rsync

And without having had examined how rsync works on both ends it should have
been a waste of time to argue the merits of rsync.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 17:12:09 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, Dana Hudes wrote:

> Orcallator, procallator and friends aren't shiny new toys
> Adrian Cockroft wrote initial version of orcallator in the early 90s for his book "Solaris Performance Tuning. The 2nd edition is I think 1998.
> The current version of ORCA (processes the collected data) is from I believe 2007 or so
> www.orcaware.org i think it was

I was being facetious. Your immediate dismissal of SAR is ill-advised. I'm
wearing my abestos-lined boxers, so I'll lob this little inflammatory gem
out there: if you're running a server (especially in production) and you're
*not* running SAR, you're a freaking idiot.

Profiling individual programs is all well and good for occasional or
developer use, but the point of SAR is to give you a global view into the
health of your system and to identify architectural bottlenecks. I think it
would be greatly entertaining for Elaine or any of the other mirror
operators to post their SAR reports so you guys can see the huge amount of
abuse being heaped on their servers.

SAR is debatably one of the lowest overhead methods of gaining that
macroscopic view, and it still has profiling value on development systems
when you're testing a specific workload.

To ignore SAR is to show zero competence as a sys-admin.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
Arthur Corliss
2010-03-29 17:55:05 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, Dana Hudes wrote:

> Arthur your ignorance is apalling
> Go look at what ORCA does
> SAR doesn't give you the info
> With ORCA i have any thing from kstat or iostat. It goes into roundrobin database with rrdtool.
>
> Procallaotr does for linux what
> orcallator does for solaris where it is the standard performance toool

*My* ignorance is appalling? Let's see, in this discussion alone you've
shown us that:

* you didn't know of a decade-old support for multiple HTTP requests
over a single TCP connection existed
* you claimed that rsync & ftp are stateful, when they're obviously
not
* you obviously had zero clue of the I/O impacts of running an rsync
server (with the massive number of stats per request)
* apparently you don't know that SAR gives you everything in iostat,
vmstat, etc. as well.

And based on all this, I'm willing to bet you don't understand how RRD
works, particularly with how the archive data is stored.

I never claimed that SAR is better than the other tools, but it's
universally available on UNIX (and clones) making it an excellent global
tool for use on heterogenous systems platforms, and more than capable of
identifying architectural bottlenecks with virtually no overhead. That
makes it a necessity.

Don't try to cover up your previously displayed areas of ignorance by
pursuing a pointless and very stupid tangent. That's not the point of this
discussion.

--Arthur Corliss
Live Free or Die
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