XSF Discussion - 2021-05-04

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  427. Holger I'd like to support PubSub nodes with an unlimited number of items. AFAICS there's no `max_items=unlimited` thing. We now have `max_items=max`, but I think the meaning is a little different. (Plus I'm unsure whether there's an agreement on whether `max` is going to stay that way, now?)
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  429. Zash And so it begins
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  433. Kev max was as many as the deployment will allow, wasn’t it?
  434. Holger So my idea of how to proceed is: I'll submit a PR that adds support for `max_items=unlimited` to 0060, everyone's thrilled of the idea, it's merged this afternoon! That's how things work, right?
  435. Holger Kev, yeah.
  436. Kev Which, if a deployment allows unlimited items, would mean unlimited.
  437. Kev And if the deployment doesn’t allow unlimited would mean as close to unlimited as you can get.
  438. Holger So I guess the _idea_ was something like "client configures max_items=max" and sees the resulting limit when querying the config from the server.
  439. Holger Where "the resulting limit" is an integer.
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  442. MattJ Not necessarily (IMHO)
  443. Holger Or is it fine for the server to return `max_items=max`?
  444. Zash IIRC yes
  445. Zash Only the server would know the true limit
  446. Holger Might be two questions: (1) is it fine as per the wording, (2) is it fine as per the author's intention.
  447. MattJ Given that that value may change over time (based on configuration, implementation default, etc.)
  448. Zash Clients would just see 'max'
  449. Holger Ok. Works for me. Kinda even better than my idea of how to proceed 🙂
  450. Holger So people were fine with the `max` thing, or at least gave up on going `-1` or something instead?
  451. Holger I.e. if I add support, there's a slight chance it's still in line with 0060 next month? 🙂
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  453. MattJ There's a significant chance
  454. Holger \o/
  455. Zash Where's that PR?
  456. MattJ I think we decided it's probably easiest at this point to add a new type for this field
  457. MattJ (and similar fields in other XEPs)
  458. Holger The `max` thing is already in 0060.
  459. Zash 🙁
  460. MattJ Holger, https://github.com/xsf/xeps/pull/988
  461. Holger I just was unsure whether it (a) can be (ab)used for my use case and if so, (b) whether it's there to stay.
  462. Holger Ah.
  463. Holger MattJ, thanks.
  464. MattJ "unlimited" will throw a spanner in the works
  465. Holger Heh.
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  468. Holger I'll shut up then 🙂
  469. Holger And work with `max`.
  470. MattJ I think in my mind "max" was "unlimited" (or as high as is possible)
  471. MattJ which is why it doesn't make sense to translate it back to a number
  472. Holger Hrm.
  473. MattJ It's unfortunate that the client can't then know whether it's actually unlimited
  474. Holger Strictly speaking I would still think it does make sense.
  475. Holger Right.
  476. Kev It both does and doesn’t.
  477. MattJ You're right and wrong
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  479. Kev I agree with 50% of that :)
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  484. Kev A disco feature for max-means-unlimited might make sense, I guess. Or some way of making the max discoverable (which I don’t think it currently is, but might misremember)
  485. Holger I would still think the proper solution is to have both `unlimited` and `max`. They mean different things. Having max-means-$whatever in disco instead sounds weirdo to me.
  486. MattJ Having both seems weird
  487. Kev The two reasons that come to mind for it making sense to convert back to a number for display purposes (ideally while persisting ‘max’ internally) are that ‘max’ will break unsuspecting clients, and that it’s nice to know what the max is. The rason for not converting to an int is that you want the client to know it’s pinned at the max.
  488. Holger MattJ, why?
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  491. MattJ If unlimited exists, why would anyone ever use max? Unlimited is higher than max, or at least implies there is no maximum
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  494. Kev Or, why would anyone ever use unlimited, I guess. Because you probably want either unlimited or as close to it as you can get, which is what max gives you.
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  496. Holger There's either a limit, expressed as a non-negative integer, or no limit, expressed as `unlimited`. The client won't know. So we have the special value `max` which means `unlimited` or, if not possible, the highest limit allowed.
  497. MattJ The whole "max" thing was added because clients wanted to be able to shove as much into the node as they could, without picking an arbitrary numer
  498. Holger Right.
  499. Kev *Unless* you want unlimited and anything less than that you want to error on.
  500. MattJ The whole "max" thing was added because clients wanted to be able to shove as much into the node as they could, without picking an arbitrary number
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  502. Holger Right.
  503. MattJ Which is exactly what you're after with "unlimited"
  504. Holger Yes.
  505. Zash And we couldn't have advertised the server limit because clients want it pinned to the max, even if it changes
  506. Holger In my specific use case that's actually what I'd want.
  507. Holger (Return an error if `unlimited` is not allowed.)
  508. MattJ I don't think it makes sense for a server that allows unlimited pubsub to also have an arbitrary "max" value
  509. Kev Holger: But in that case, the absense of a “max means unlimited” feature would work for that, no?
  510. Holger I can live without that error, but it would be the proper solution.
  511. Holger Kev, yes, I'm trying to argue for the proper solution being to have both `max` and `unlimited`. In which case max would of course not mean unlimited.
  512. Zash So we just shove more enum entries in that?
  513. Zash Why not `default` too‽
  514. Holger In my book, yes. enum entries are relatively cheap, no?
  515. MattJ Especially when mixed into the same data type as abitrary integers
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  518. Holger > I don't think it makes sense for a server that allows unlimited pubsub to also have an arbitrary "max" value I don't quite understand.
  519. Kev > In which case max would of course not mean unlimited. No? I’d have expected when ‘unlimited’ was supported for ‘max’ to mean ‘unlimited’.
  520. Holger Kev, ah. Yes 🙂
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  522. MattJ Holger, what's not to understand? What would "max" be if the server allows "unlimited"?
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  525. Holger Seems I'm having a hard time to express myself.
  526. MattJ Client developers that pushed for "max" didn't want it because they wanted some arbitrary limit
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  528. Kev Welcome to the Internet :)
  529. Holger If the server allows unlimited and the client requests `max` then the result is unlimited.
  530. Zash From the clients perspective, if they configure with limit=unlimited, then if it's supported, everything is ok, but if it's not, then they get a proper error.
  531. MattJ They pushed for it because they wanted no limit, but aren't necessarily going to get that
  532. Daniel Max was certainly intended to mean unlimited (from a client's perspective)
  533. MattJ ^
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  538. Zash Eugh
  539. Kev > Max was certainly intended to mean unlimited (from a client's perspective) With the realisation that some arbitrarily high limit might exist, because unlimited storage hasn’t been invented yet, except in /dev/null, right? :)
  540. Holger Daniel, my assumption was, for the case where the server allows 1000, `max` means 1000.
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  543. MattJ Holger, that's correct. But such a server wouldn't also allow unlimited entries. Would it?
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  545. MattJ If it did, then "max" == unlimited
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  547. Kev What would probably be neatest would be for a server to return an annotation when a client configures the node to ‘max’ saying what the effective value of ‘max’ is, with ‘unlimited’ being a possible value :)
  548. Kev Such that a Holger client can abort because 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 isn’t high enough, but everyone else can not care :)
  549. Holger MattJ, I don't get it 🙂 If I configure my server to only allow 1000 items for a given node, then this server won't at the same time allow an unlimited number of items for that node, no.
  550. Holger But you obviously meant something else 🙂
  551. Daniel My wishful thinking was that what ever internal limits the server might have it won't matter in practice because they are hight enough
  552. Daniel So max would be a de facto unlimited
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  554. MattJ Holger, no, that's exactly what I meant
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  558. MattJ Just pretend `max` means unlimited and carry on :)
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  566. Holger So if you guys are telling me to just use a super-large integer in place of `unlimited` because it has the same effect in practice then I at least get the idea. But no I'm not going to implement `if limit < 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 then delete_old_items()` 🙂
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  568. Holger MattJ, yes yes, works for me.
  569. MattJ Are you talking about the client or server perspective here?
  570. Holger Server.
  571. MattJ I'm not sure why the server needs to care. Either you have a limit, or you don't
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  576. Holger I'd like to allow clients to configure nodes without limit.
  577. MattJ If you don't, then max really does mean unlimited, not some arbitrary value
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  580. Zash limit=max → high as it goes plz limit=unlimited → give me unlimited, or give me ERROR
  581. Zash Hm
  582. Zash Wouldn't adding entries to this enum require yetanotherxeprevision?
  583. Holger Yup. I totally get how this solution works in practice. Assuming it's fine to return `max_items=max` when the client asks for the node config.
  584. MattJ Which would error on most servers, because unrestricted resource consumption is unrealistic for most deployments :)
  585. Zash Aaaaaaaaah
  586. MattJ Holger, it is
  587. Holger I'll insist that strictly speaking, it is hacky and wrong, but it works for me 🙂
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  590. MattJ It would be wrong to not return "max" in the node config
  591. MattJ Whether you have a limit or not
  592. Holger Wait, you're saying I should return `max` even in the case where there _is_ a limit?
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  594. MattJ Yes, because that's what the configuration is set to, "max"
  595. Holger So for a node with max_items=1000. If the client configured `max_items=1000` I should return `1000`, if the client said `max_items=max` I should return `max`?
  596. Kev Did we bump the xep60 config namespace for this? Because if not, returning max to an unsuspecting client under the previous namespace that only supported ints would be wrong :D
  597. MattJ Kev, sure, it broke Prosody assumptions about it being an integer too *shrug* :)
  598. MattJ Why do clients get a namespace bump but servers don't?
  599. Kev Becuase the server would reject max as being invalid until it supported max?
  600. flow Holger, IIRC 'max' should only be send by the configuring entity and the real integer value is returned by the pubsub service
  601. flow but I could be wrong
  602. Kev (Although I note that there are definitely deployments that are doing checking against schemas (not necessarily XEP schemas), and so any changing of protocol like this without a bump breaks them, and that’s bad)
  603. flow and I woudldn't be suprised if this is not clearly stated in the XEP
  604. Holger flow, that's what I assumed, and then everyone told me I was wrong 🙂
  605. Kev (Checking about schemas on the way through a routing entity, that is)
  606. Holger Right, it's not clearly stated.
  607. Kev Holger: I think only Matt said that’s wrong :)
  608. Zash And why can't we do nice things like advertise the the types in the config from?
  609. Zash And why can't we do nice things like advertise the the types in the config form?
  610. flow pep tried to get the types in data forms validation, but that processed stalled
  611. MattJ There are no schemas, since it's a data form
  612. MattJ and it's text-single
  613. Holger Kev, ok, and admittedly he only said half-wrong half-right, but in the end, wrong, or something 🙂
  614. flow Holger, I am curious: why do you want unlimited? as Kev pointed out, the inifnite tape of a turing machine is a theoretical construct ;)
  615. Zash MattJ, dataforms validation is sorta like schema tho?
  616. MattJ Zash, yes, but not used by XEP-0060
  617. Zash Nice things, can not have.
  618. flow and as server dev, I'd expect you to be very cautious about resource usage (and resource domination by a single client) anyway :)
  619. Holger flow, well, I'm coming from deletion of old items potentially being expensive.
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  622. Holger flow, it's precisely about resource usage, just different resources 🙂
  623. flow Holger, so in your scenario, a client that continiously creates pubsub items, would eventually run in which limit?
  624. Holger Right now we delete the oldest item(s) when a new one is published.
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  627. flow volume size of the volume the database is stored on?
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  629. Holger That can be an expensive operation if you have millions of items.
  630. Holger (Which is why we don't support this with MAM, for example.)
  631. flow doesn't have postgres some vacuum mechanism for that? ;)
  632. Holger Just the query to look up the oldest item(s) is too expensive.
  633. Zash Stuff them in buckets, sized after about the number of items you expect to delete each time, something something
  634. Holger But I'm not sure this matters. I mean I'm highly interested in implementation suggestions for my problem at hand. But I do think we shouldn't enforce having some limit ("just choose a large one!") protocol-wise, either way.
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  636. flow I am aksing because I wonder if your "unlimited" is not really "very high and I can't provide the exact limit but there is one, I guarantee" limited
  637. flow I am asking because I wonder if your "unlimited" is not really "very high and I can't provide the exact limit but there is one, I guarantee" limited
  638. Holger There's no fixed limit, no.
  639. MattJ What we're saying is that there is, when you run out of disk space :)
  640. Holger The server might clean up evey now and then, in my specific case.
  641. flow so it's like max="best-effort"
  642. MattJ and this is what "max" is for
  643. MattJ It's just the client saying it wants no limit, so it will take the highest limit you have to offer (including no limit)
  644. Holger Let's not turn in circles 🙂
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  646. flow I'd also don't like to turn in circle
  647. flow I'd also don't like to turn in circles
  648. Holger Either way I do believe that the spec should clarify these things. Esp. whether the server is actually _supposed_ to return `max` if the client specified `max`.
  649. flow definetly
  650. Holger In which case there's no way for the client to discover the limit right now.
  651. flow definitely
  652. Holger Whereas it means the limit might change.
  653. Holger (Well I guess it might always change anyway.)
  654. Holger Anyway, BBL.
  655. Zash And sneaking in some XEP-0122 element doesn't solve this?
  656. flow What if: if there is a known max limit, let the pubsub service return it. if there is no known max limit, let the pubsub service return "max"
  657. MattJ I'd push for the obvious solution of the server responding with the configuration option that the client set...
  658. Daniel > I'd push for the obvious solution of the server responding with the configuration option that the client set... +1
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  660. MattJ The problem is that the max limit may change (e.g. because it's set by the operator, or based on available storage capacity), so the returned value is not very useful to the client anyway
  661. flow right
  662. Holger "Obvious" 🙂
  663. MattJ What is far more important is a way to configure the behaviour that occurs when the limit is reached
  664. MattJ We don't have that, and the "delete oldest" behaviour is stupid for many applications
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  666. flow so another max_items enum value, but please do not call it "unlimited", seems sensible
  667. Kev I think the only compelling reason to return the current int equivalent rather than ‘max’ is that ‘max’ will break compliant implementations - and I do believe that’s a compelling reason.
  668. MattJ Also we need to fix that ejabberd and Prosody disagree about the definition of "oldest" :)
  669. Kev But returning ‘max’ (with some additional way to discover what that means) is the conceptually right thing, I think.
  670. flow MattJ, you mean we need to fix the specification but be clear and unambiguous when it comes to this
  671. MattJ Sure
  672. flow MattJ, you mean we need to fix the specification to be clear and unambiguous when it comes to this
  673. MattJ Both are spec issues
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  730. support@mpro.la hello
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  737. Zash 👋️
  738. Sam lovetox: sure thing; no rush though, if it's like 5 minutes before that's fine.
  739. Sam (sorry, I never remember how to PM on here)
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  769. Sam Reminder to all that the Office Hours got pushed back an hour today, so show up in ~45 minutes and we'll get started! Today's is a demo of the new Gajim 1.4 UI and features! https://socialcoop.meet.coop/sam-pku-dud-niv
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  961. jonas’ Kev, poooooooooooooooooooooooooooke https://github.com/xsf/xeps/pull/1047
  962. Zash Needs more XEP-0132
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  1188. deuill Oh man missed this one again! Pretty excited to see the PRs for Gajim flowing in though.
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