Redis DB scheme for Rebol3
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Redis scheme for Rebol3

Boleslav Březovský


This script provides Redis scheme for Rebol3. Redis is key/value (NoSQL) database. Rebol3 is newest version of Rebol programming language. This script implements Redis as standard Rebol protocol that can be accessed using redis://redis-server notation. Redis protocol uses Ladislav's test framework for unit testing and is released under Apache 2 license.

How does it work?

Redis runs as server listening on TCP port, so access from Rebol is done using standard Rebol3 scheme. All Rebol3 schemes are asynchronous - you need to call WAIT to fire up event system ( See documentation for details ). Because the connection speed between Rebol client and Redis server may vary, issuing one command at time can get very slow (for example with total roundtrip time of 250ms, you are limited to only four operations per second). To prevent this problem, Redis supports pipelining. In pipelined mode the client can send more commands in one batch instead off sending one command at time. Pipelining is supported by this scheme and defines how the protocol will behave.


Redis protocol is implemented as REBOL 3 module. To use it, import it using import function.

>> import %prot.redis.reb

The module exports following functions:

  • send-redis
  • write-key
  • read-key

See below for detailed description of each command.

Pipelining modes

There are basicaly three different modes of operation and they are defined by the length of the pipeline. The length is stored in redis/pipeline-limit. Pipeline limit is number of commands that will be send in one batch.

>> redis/pipeline-limit
== 0
>> redis/pipeline-limit: 10'000
== 10000

Manual mode: redis/pipeline-limit = 0

User is in charge of sending commands to Redis server. Commands must be processed with WAIT or READ (see below) functions.

Simple mode: redis/pipeline-limit = 1

Each command is processed individually. To make things easier for beginners, this is default mode.

Automatic mode: redis/pipeline-limit > 1

Commands are send after pipeline limit is reached. NOTE: If you end the script and the queue is not empty, commands are NOT processed! You may force the procsessing with WAIT or READ in such situation.

Port functions


Open Redis port and clear command pipeline.

>> redis-port: open redis://


Returns TRUE when port is open.


Write Redis command to the pipeline. When the pipeline limit is reached, commands are send to the server.

>> rs: open redis://redis-server
>> write rs [SET foo 1]
>> write rs [INCR foo]

Write has three modes of operations: basic, manual and automatic (see the pipelining modes).

In Basic mode write returns server's response as binary!.

In Manual and Automatic modes write returns pipeline length as integer!.

In Automatic mode, when the pipeline limit is hit, pipelined commands are send to server, write returns 0 and server's response is stored in redis/data (binary bulk data) and redis/response (parsed bulk data).


Read has two modes of operations:


Read value of given key. Key is specified in the url in this format:

>> read redis://server/key
== #{...}
>> read redis://server/key/member
== #{...}

Protocol will first check for key type and then will return it's value. This is not an atomic operation and is slower than direct access using commands.


Send commands in pipeline to the server and return response. This is prefered mode of operations.

>> write redis://redis-server [SET foo bar]
>> read redis://redis-server
== #{2B4F4B0D0A}


READ returns raw value of key as binary! in (multi)bulk format. You can decode the data with parse-response function. READ does check on key's type and sends appropriate command.

>> write redis:// "bar"
>> read redis://
== #{24330D0A6261720D0A}
>> to string! parse-response read redis://
== "bar"


>> query redis://
>> query redis://

Return informations about key as object!.

name -> key name
size -> key size (length of string or number of members)
date -> expiration date or none!
type -> Redis datatype


Delete key or member in key or whole database.

Delete whole database - FLUSHALL:

>> delete redis://

Delete one key - REMOVE:

>> delete redis://

Delete first member in list:

>> delete redis://


Close port.


No information yet.


No information yet.


No information yet.

Redis dialect

Redis dialect uses Redis commands. See the list of commands here. Commands are followed by values. get-word! and get-path! can be used to get word or path value. Paren! evaluates Rebol code. All other datatypes are passed as-is. For example, SET foo bar is same as SET "foo" "bar".

>> key: "foo"
== "foo"
>> value: "bar"
== "bar"
>> port: open redis://redis-server
>> write port [SET key value]
;; key: value
>> write port [SET "key" "value"]
;; key: value	
>> write port [SET key :value]
;; key: bar
>> write port [SET :key :value]
;; foo: bar
>> write port [SET key (1 + 1)]
;; key: 2

Why aren't word!s and path!s evaluated?

**Word!**s and **path!**s are not evaluated, to get their values you need to use get-word! or get-path! notation. This has its reasons. In Redis, composed keys in form of user:1:name are often used. Of course you are free to use this type of keys, but because this is Rebol client library, you have option to use user/1/name instead. This ways keys can be mapped directly to Rebol values on demand.

Also, using path! is much faster than working with string!. make path! [user 1 name] runs about 8-9 faster than rejoin ["user" 1 "name"] on my machine.

Exported functions

Redis protocol is implemented as REBOL 3 module that exposes following functions to user:


SEND-REDIS is a shorthand for parse-reply write port data. It sends request to Redis server and parses bulk reply.

>> send-redis port [SET key value]
== true
>> send-redis port [GET key]       
== "value"
>> send-redis/binary port [GET key]
== #{76616C7565}


Write value to Redis key. Function automatically selects appropriate Redis command based on key and/or value datatypes.


Read value from Redis key. Function automatically selects appropriate Redis command based on key datatype.

Awake handler and callbacks

Because all Rebol3 ports are asynchronous by nature, if you want to execute your custom code, you need to change AWAKE handler. However because you mostly need to change READ actor, Redis scheme provides SET-CALLBACK function that will add your code to the READ without need for rewriting whole AWAKE handler.


Pass port and function accepting one argument (port!) to SET-CALLBACK:

>> port: open redis://redis-server
>> set-callback port func [port][probe port/data]