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Romanian Phone Number validator

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 in Programming | 0 comments

Recently i had to implement a Romanian Phone Number validator… and i have managed to implement it as a method of the jQuery Validation Plugin.

here is the whole method

$.validator.addMethod("phoneRO", function(phone_number, element) {
phone_number = phone_number.replace(/\(|\)|\s+|-/g, "");
return this.optional(element) || phone_number.length > 9 &&
phone_number.match(/^(?:(?:(?:00\s?|\+)40\s?|0)(?:7\d{2}\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3}|(21|31)\d{1}\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3}|((2|3)[3-7]\d{1})\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3}|(8|9)0\d{1}\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3}))$/);
}, "Please specify a valid romanian phone number");

The ReGex of interest is:


/^(?:(?:(?:00\s?|\+)40\s?|0)(?:7\d{2}\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3}|(21|31)\d{1}\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3}|((2|3)[3-7]\d{1})\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3}|(8|9)0\d{1}\s?\d{3}\s?\d{3}))$/

Some of the formats this ReGex is able to recognise are:

00 40 722 000 000
00 40 218 032 329
00 40 243 253 398
00 40 343 254 398
00 40 800 801 227
00 40 318 032 329
0722 000 000
0800 801 227
0800 801227
0318 032 329

Have a try: http://rubular.com/r/2ufyprKWGz

sphinx mysql command line

Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Database, Programming, Sphinx Search | 0 comments

Recently i’ve been struggled how to work using sphinx from console, mainly i needed to access the interface in order to see what’s indexed, how is stored and test my searches.

After may google searches i’ve ended up with this.


mysql -h 127.0.0.1 --prompt 'SphinxQL>' --port 9312

Horizontal scaling using Db Charmer

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Optimisations, Programming, Ruby On Rails, Server | 0 comments

I was looking for a way to scale horizontally a Ruby on Rails application, and i have tried several methods to scale it. A method would be using a MySQL cluster, but that would require some serious database administrator skills, which unfortunately i don’t have.

dbreplication173Mainly i have an application that is read intensive (80% reads vs 20% writes) so, i have considered to use a MySQL master – slave configuration. The problem is that there is nothing about it in Rails documentation, however, after a short look in ruby-toolbox.com I have discovered that I am not the only one who encountered this problem.

I have tried octopus as my first choice, but i have soon discovered that is not fit for my application. For some reasons, not all my “read” queryes were passed to my slave connection. I have tried to see why, but because I was kind of pressed by time, i have dismissed this gem, even if i love the simplicity of the models.

After dismissing octopus, I have tried db charmer gem, which is pretty active. This is yet another Active Record Sharding gem that offers you the possibility to split database reads and writes.

The method i have chosen for my first try was to split my actions that were 100% reads, and push them to a slave. That was pretty simple using a before filter in my rails controllers.

class ProfilesController < Application
   force_slave_reads :only =>  [ :show, :index ]
end

This action allowed me to scale the application by keeping the same amount of servers, but the main effect was a drop in the response time of the applications.

The second action i have taken was to get all the heavy queries like counts out of the mysql master server and move them to slave.

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
   def some_some_heavy_query
     self.on_slave.joins(:profile, :messages).count(:group => ['messages.thread_id'])
   end
end

In my enthusiasm of having a mysql slave I have thought that it would be nice to have “ready” 3 slave instances in my config. I have later realised that this “optimisation” caused problems because those 3 connections multiplied by the number of max_child in my apache configuration and also multiplied by the number of the servers exceded the number of the max_connection on my mysql slave server.

After a small fix in my database.yml files I was back online with a more performant application.

How to use aggressive file caching

Posted by on Nov 27, 2013 in Server | 0 comments

Speed up your site

Recently I have observed that one of my servers took long time to respond to users. After an investigation I have seen that i had a lot of TIME_WAIT connections, because each request needed to process some output. My application serves some user widgets that are connecting a 3rd Party server, which can cause a lot of delays regarding my output. Given the fact the application did not used secured content (did not required for user to be signed in), I have decided to use aggressive file caching strategy. Basically i have used PHP’s  ob_start function and its callback in order to write the application’s response on disk.

I had an YII Framework application, so i have modified index.php file to look like this:

<?php
function callback($buffer)
{
  if (empty($buffer)) {
    return $buffer;
  }
  try {
    $file_name = $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];
    if (preg_match("/\?/", $file_name)) {
      $file_name = substr($file_name, 0, strpos($file_name, '?'));
    }
    if (substr($file_name, -3, 3) == '.js') {
      file_put_contents(dirname(__FILE__) . $file_name, $buffer);
    } else if (substr($file_name, -9, 9) == 'some custom name') {
      mkdir(dirname(__FILE__) . substr($file_name, 0, -9), 0777, true);
      file_put_contents(dirname(__FILE__) . $file_name, $buffer);
    }
  }catch(Exception $e) { }
  return $buffer;
}

ob_start("callback");

// change the following paths if necessary
$yii=dirname(__FILE__).'/some/path/to/yii/framework/yii.php';
$config=dirname(__FILE__).'/protected/config/main.php';

// remove the following lines when in production mode
//defined('YII_DEBUG') or define('YII_DEBUG',true);
// specify how many levels of call stack should be shown in each log message
//defined('YII_TRACE_LEVEL') or define('YII_TRACE_LEVEL',3);

require_once($yii);

Yii::createWebApplication($config)->run();

ob_end_flush();

Given the fact that my application needed to return JSON objects, i had to added in my NGINX de following lines:

location ~ ^/js/.*\.js$ {
	#access_log  off;
	access_log    /var/log/nginx/hostname-access-log main;
	add_header Content-Type application/javascript;
	add_header Access-Control-Allow-Origin *;
	if (-f $request_filename) { break; }
	try_files $uri  @apachesite;
}

location ~ ^/js/.*/some custom name$ {
	#access_log off;
	access_log    /var/log/nginx/hostname-access-log main;
	add_header Content-Type application/json;
	add_header Access-Control-Allow-Origin *;
	if (-f $request_filename) { break; }
	try_files $uri  @apachesite;
}
location / {
	# some more config here 
}
location @apachesite {
	# some more config here 
}

The result was a immediate drop of TCP connections on that server, a CPU usage decrease and no difference regarding the functionality. Even more, all what I could see it was a performance improvement. However now I got two other issues: the size of the folder and the cache expiration. Given the fact I wrote the files on disk in one single folder, there was a response time issue (again) because of the big number of files. Those 2 issues, were easier to fix by adding some small script to my crontab:

#Added cronjob to delete old files
0 * * * * /some/path/for/cache/expire/script.sh

And the source of: /some/path/for/cache/expire/script.sh

#!/bin/bash

BASE='/just/another/htdocs/public/folder/matching/my/url'
#age in minutes
AGE=60

find $BASE/* -mmin +$AGE -exec rm -r {} \;

Warning!! This aggressive file caching strategy cand cause serious response time issues if the number of the files is too big (I let you decide what “big” means to you). By implementing the cron job from above ensures the cache expiration but also the cleanup of the folder by deleting the files that have not been accessed in a while.

Database optimization technique and how storage engine works

Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Database, Optimisations | 1 comment

Today i was discussing with a colleague of mine about a mysql database optimization technique, and some of the things i have learned about how mysql works on big table datasets. This article is not about “mysql”, is not about “Mongodb”, but more about the principle behind of it.

I will try to give you an idea about this using i using a book library example.

In any database engine you might have tables / collections that have million of rows, which needs to be sorted, ordered, filtered using conditions, and every time is a pain finding the right solutions.

I have indexes, so is not a problem for me.

Well, if you’re reading this, then you might be wrong. First of all, if it is a query (and by query i mean any SQL / NoSQL statement meant to retrieve informations from the table) that is not ran on a constant basis, then most probably, your database engine does not have it cached. This means every time you’ll run that query the database engine will actually look in the store and actually filter all of your statements.

Yes, but i am running statements using indexes …

Well … imagine that you’re in a library, and you ask the librarian to give you a certain book, knowing just the author. He will leave the office and go to search your book, knowing just a fragment of the specs. He will know that he needs to go to a certain row, but will not know which shelf, or what is the position of the book, so he will lose some time to read all those authors in that shelf, until he provides you the book.

This is happening in any Database engine, when you ask for a book that is not read too often.

Now imagine that you’re asking a book that was just returned by another reader. Now, the librarian might have not put the book back the shelf, so, he might give you faster because is just few meters away.

Yeah… but the database engine is using “index tables”… there are pointers … etc

Well … yeah and no … imagine that you already know that the book is on a row and a shelf… you’ll still lose time by moving there, and also, searching on that shelf. The story is more like the one above.

Ok … might get it … but how can i get a random record?

Well, in MySQL and other SQL languages you might do something like this :

SELECT @v:=RAND() * (SELECT MAX(id) FROM your_table)

then:

SELECT * FROM your_table WHERE  id > @v AND  the_rest_of_your_condition = 'something';

in MySQL RAND() function will always return a real number between 0 and 1, which means that any number will get generated will be actually between record 1 and your MAX(id).

This kind of hack is useful when your need to perform a query like…

SELECT * FROM your_table WHERE your_condition = 'something' ORDER BY RAND();

At this very moment i don’t know how could you achieve that in a NoSQL engine.

Well my problem is a pagination issue.

Some pagination ...

Good luck with that! Maybe you have something like:

SELECT COUNT(SELECT * FROM my_table)

to find the number of rows that you have in your database… Well That’s bad … a mysql database optimization technique would be to use CALC_FOUND_ROWS function call which might solve your issue like this:

SELECT CALC_FOUND_ROWS * FROM my_table WHERE my_conditions = '1' LIMIT 0, 10;

Then you can use

SELECT FOUND_ROWS()

However, your problem is still not fixed … On big datasets, you will still have a MySQL issue when using OFFSET or LIMIT. A query like:

SELECT * FROM my_table LIMIT 10000, 10;

is similar with

SELECT * FROM my_table OFFSET 10000 LIMIT 10;

Which in MySQL, will mean that the storage engine will actually load in memory and read 10010 rows. And once the offset gets higher, and higher, so the time waiting for the response will increase.

Those are just 2 optimisations that you can perform at least on MYSQL to get a faster response. There are more ways to optimize your mysql queries, but, because is not a “one size fits all” solution, i cannot speak about them, as i did not encountered them … YET.

How to reduce code duplication

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in Programming, Ruby On Rails | 0 comments

By using Ruby or Pyton you might know about the fact that both are dynamically typed, as a result a developer can choose some of the variants available to remove some of the duplication. There are at least 2 methods that can be used to reduce code duplication.

Dynamic declaration:

  class MyClass
    STATUS_ARRAY = [ :pending, :closed, :rejected, :waiting_for_payment ]

    STATUS_ARRAY.each do |method|
      class_eval %{
        scope :#{method}, where('column_name = ?', #{method.to_sym}) 
        def #{method}?
          self[:column_name] == '#{method}'
        end
        alias :is_#{method}?, #{method}?
      }
    end
  end

In the example above we managed to write 8 lines that compress the code by declaring dynamically the equivalent of a 20 lines.

Inheritance

In Ruby you can easily use modules that you can include into your classes or you could use extend.

The below example you might encounter in all the Rails application upon class definitions, but this method is somehow limiting as you cannot extend with more than 1 class. In the below example we are extending the Foo class from Class1. Better said, Class1 is an ancestor of Foo

  class Foo < Class1
  end

However you could also use multiple inheritance by using the following example:

  class Foo
    extend Class1
    extend Class2
  end

The above example allows you to use several classes as a parent for Foo, however this might not be the best approach, because defies some OOP principles. As a workaround, is better to use modules.

Modules usage

  class Foo < Class1
    include Module1 
    include Module2
  end

I have shown here how to create a module