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Don't treat NameError in deserialize as network error #728

merged 2 commits into from Jul 26, 2019

Don't treat NameError in deserialize as network error #728

merged 2 commits into from Jul 26, 2019


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@michaelkl michaelkl commented Jul 25, 2019


The problem I have stumbled upon after upgrading Rails version of my Ruby on Rails application was dalli marking a memcached server as failed and removing it from the list of servers for 60 seconds. In application log it looked like this:

Cache write: operator_name_cache/0/2 ({:expires_in=>2 days})
down_retry_delay not reached for memcached:11211 (59.990 seconds left)
DalliError: No server available
Cache write: operator_name_cache/0/17 ({:expires_in=>2 days})
down_retry_delay not reached for memcached:11211 (59.989 seconds left)
DalliError: No server available
Cache read: api_v1_results_hotel_data/453718 ({:expires_in=>3 hours})
down_retry_delay not reached for memcached:11211 (59.989 seconds left)

After a lot of debugging I discovered the following error in my production log:

#<Dalli::NetworkError: memcached:11211 is down: NameError uninitialized constant ActiveRecord::PredicateBuilder::ClassHandler
Did you mean?  ActiveRecord::PredicateBuilder::BaseHandler>
retrying request with new server
down_retry_delay not reached for memcached:11211 (60.000 seconds left)

This means dalli has run into NameError while deserializing object, and treated this error as memcached server error!

Reproducing the error

I've made a simple code snippet to reproduce the error.
First, let's define a simple test class:

require 'dalli'
require 'active_support'
require 'active_support/core_ext'

module M
    class C
      def initialize(v)
        @v = v

      def to_s

Next, instantiate and object and save it to memcache:

[5] pry(main)> o ='test')
=> #<M::C:0x00005591884f3b38 @v="test">
[6] pry(main)> dalli =
=> #<Dalli::Client:0x000055918852aed0 @options={}, @ring=nil, @servers=[""]>
[7] pry(main)> dalli.set :my_object, o
=> 12397565349220843520
[8] pry(main)> dalli.get :my_object
=> #<M::C:0x00005591885b28f8 @v="test">

Things look good so far. But let's do the trick: remove M::C class and try again.

[9] pry(main)> M.instance_eval { remove_const :C }
=> M::C
[10] pry(main)> dalli.get :my_object
E, [2019-07-25T09:44:26.341917 #27755] ERROR -- : Unexpected exception during Dalli request: NameError: uninitialized constant M::C
E, [2019-07-25T09:44:26.342009 #27755] ERROR -- : /home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/inflector/methods.rb:285:in `const_get'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/inflector/methods.rb:285:in `block in constantize'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/inflector/methods.rb:281:in `each'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/inflector/methods.rb:281:in `inject'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/inflector/methods.rb:281:in `constantize'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/core_ext/string/inflections.rb:68:in `constantize'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/core_ext/marshal.rb:10:in `rescue in load'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/core_ext/marshal.rb:5:in `load'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/server.rb:442:in `deserialize'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/server.rb:513:in `generic_response'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/server.rb:272:in `get'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/server.rb:70:in `request'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/options.rb:19:in `block in request'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/2.5.0/monitor.rb:226:in `mon_synchronize'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/options.rb:18:in `request'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/client.rb:368:in `perform'
	/home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/client.rb:59:in `get'
	(pry):20:in `__pry__'
W, [2019-07-25T09:44:26.342183 #27755]  WARN -- : is down
Dalli::RingError: No server available

We got it! Unexpected exception NameError led us to WARN -- : is down. And the one to blame is ActiveSupport's internal call for const_get.


The solution to this problem is simple: we should handle this kind on NameError as it's already done to ArgumentError in Dalli::Server#deserialize.

After applying the proposed patch running the same test snippet ends up like this:

[10] pry(main)> dalli.get :my_object
Dalli::UnmarshalError: Unable to unmarshal value: uninitialized constant M::C
from /home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/dalli-2.7.10/lib/dalli/server.rb:452:in `rescue in deserialize'
Caused by NameError: uninitialized constant M::C
from /home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/inflector/methods.rb:285:in `const_get'
Caused by ArgumentError: undefined class/module M::C
from /home/mike/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/activesupport-5.2.3/lib/active_support/core_ext/marshal.rb:6:in `load'
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@prikha prikha commented Jul 25, 2019

Nice catch actually! 👍

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@siddharth1001 siddharth1001 commented Jul 25, 2019

👍 @michaelkl
I had faced the same issue while migrating from Rails 3 to Rails 4 and fixed this with monkey-patching Dalli-2.7.9. This will be very useful for other folks while upgrading Rails.

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@mperham mperham commented Jul 26, 2019

Nice work. Possible to add a simple test?

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@michaelkl michaelkl commented Jul 26, 2019

@mperham Done!

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@petergoldstein petergoldstein commented Jul 26, 2019

@michaelkl This is great. Thanks for the contribution. Merging.

@petergoldstein petergoldstein merged commit 8b19276 into petergoldstein:master Jul 26, 2019
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@michaelkl michaelkl deleted the deserialize-name-error branch Jul 26, 2019
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@ilove8 ilove8 commented Nov 5, 2019

@petergoldstein Hi, What about update this commit to next version 2.7.11. It will be very helpful :)

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@hovissimo hovissimo commented Jan 22, 2020

@petergoldstein More attention on this issue, please. We got punked by this during an upgrade and are forced to vendor this gem to get the fix. Can we please get a fix release?

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7 participants