Re: Cheapest way to poll for notifications? & Driver improvement question re SSL and notify

From: <rsmogura(at)softperience(dot)pl>
To: Craig Ringer <craig(at)postnewspapers(dot)com(dot)au>
Cc: PG-JDBC Mailing List <pgsql-jdbc(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Cheapest way to poll for notifications? & Driver improvement question re SSL and notify
Date: 2009-12-21 09:41:01
Views: Raw Message | Whole Thread | Download mbox | Resend email
Lists: pgsql-general pgsql-jdbc


I don't know exactly whole topic, but I assume you want to check if there
are some available bytes on SSL socket stream to check for some incoming
messages, but you can't make this, as the available() always return 0.

There is some solution, to check if something is on wire you need ask the
underlying "plain" socket. Currently in driver there is
PGStream.changeSocket, which replaces and makes unavailable underlying
socket with it SSL wrapper, in my opinion this could be renamed and
reconstructed to something like wrapSocket, or
it could be better to allow them creating of SSL socket, by passing the
SSLFactory to it (some solution to save old socket, and make method name
accurate). This could allow PGStream to store "plain" socket, use it the
hasMessagePending (and expose the method
e.g. getPlainAvailbaleBytes() { return
plainSocket.getInputStream().available() }).

One of disadvantage of checking plain socket is that available or read
uses "under" SSL Layer bytes, which include encrypted data, handshaking
data (the SSL supports renegotiation and session changes...?), and other
protocol specific, with no sense for application. But generally when whole
SSL socket bytes are read, then plain socket _should_ be "empty" too.

I'll try to submit proposed patch, if you think this is a some solution.

Kind regards,
Radosław Smogura

On Sat, 19 Dec 2009 15:00:35 +0800, Craig Ringer
<craig(at)postnewspapers(dot)com(dot)au> wrote:
> Hi folks
> Just to follow up on an earlier discussion on -general that turns out to

> be JDBC-specific: it turns out that there _is_ a need to poll for
> notifications using a dummy statement when a Java/JDBC client is using
> an SSL socket.
> The short version is that the JDBC driver can't check an SSL socket to
> see if any data is availible for reading - the check always returns 0
> due to a limitation in the underling SSLSocket provided by the JRE. So a

> JDBC client using SSL must still send dummy statements to get
> notifications.
> So my question is: is there any particularly low-overhead statement that

> might be suitable for generating pointless client/server chat to check
> for received async notifications? Should I just use "SELECT 1" ? Or
> would I be better off using a SHOW statement like "SHOW role" to avoid
> creating a snapshot etc?
> I had a look at the v3 protocol documentatation and didn't see any sort
> of "echo" or "ping"-type message that might be used to (a) test the
> server for aliveness and (b) guarantee readable data of a known size on
> the client's input stream. So the polling looks like it has to be done
> at the SQL level not the protocol level.
> === alternative: blocking getNotifications() ===
> An alternative is to provide an alternate form of getNotifications()
> that can block. It'd be unsynchronized, being intended for a dedicated
> thread in the app to use to poll for notifications. It'd call a blocking

> equivalent to QueryExecutorImpl.processNotifies() ( let's call it
> waitForNoitifies() ) that didn't check available() before attempting to
> read from the input stream.
> The problem here is that while PGStream.readChar() as called from
> QueryExecutorImpl.waitForNotifies() was blocked waiting for input,
> someone else in another thread might try to read from the PGStream while

> doing normal work. PGStream would have to be able to block that read
> until the readChar() from processNotifies() returned, AND would have to
> be able to push the result of readChar() back onto the
> VisibleBufferedInputStream used by PGStream if it wasn't an async
> notification message.
> I don't know how to do that without incurring plenty of nasty
> synchronization overhead.
> So, what I'm wondering is if it's worth having an alternative stream
> class, say PGSynchronizedStream, that extends a PGStream with thread
> safety. The driver user could, via the PGConnection interface, request
> that blocking notification checking be enabled, causing the usual
> PGStream to be replaced with PGSynchronizedStream. It would then be
> possible to call something like getNotificationsBlocking() to trigger
> QueryExecutorImpl.waitForNotifies() as described above.
> The only other change needed to support this would be add a pushChar()
> method to VisibleBufferedInputStream to permit input the blocking
> notification checker read but didn't want to be pushed back into the
> input stream.
> This way, if you wanted async notifications over an SSL socket you'd
> have to pay the price of some read-synchronization overhead in
> PGSynchronizedStream, but otherwise not much would change anywhere in
> the code.
> Is this crazy? Is there something obvious I've missed?
> === Why can't JDBC/SSL just test for data ready to read, anyway? ===
> The server can send async notifications over an SSL socket, no problem.
> It generates an appropriate SSL message via the ssl library and sends it

> down the wire.
> A Java SSL client, though, cannot check to see if it can read from an
> SSL socket without blocking. InputStream.available() always returns zero

> on a Java SSL socket, because while there may be data in the underlying
> connection buffer, the SSL client isn't sure if (a) it's a full SSL
> message, and (b) if that message contains data for the client. It
> doesn't seem to want to do the processing and buffering required to
> figure that out in the available() call.
> It's an annoying issue. In theory there's nothing that prevents
> non-blocking I/O on SSL sockets - OpenSSL can do it, with a few quirks.
> Java's SSLSocket can't do it, though. To get non-blocking SSL in Java
> you apparently have to completely re-write your client using java.nio
> async I/O and use the SSLEngine to do manual SSL handling on top of
> that. There's no standard friendly-to-use non-blocking SSL socket
> wrapper on top of that, and direct use of SSLEngine is ...
> There are 3rd party implementations of wrappers that make a java.nio &
> SSLEngine-based system look like a normal SSLSocket, like ScalableSSL's
> SSLSocketChannel. that brings behaviour much like OpenSSL's
> almost-transparent non-blocking SSL - ie it looks like a normal
> non-blocking socket except for a few quirks re handshaking.
> SSLSocketChannel still doesn't do available() checking, though the docs
> say it can be added.
> Even if that was sorted out though, SSLEngine is also present only in
> JDK 1.5 and above, so the JDBC driver can't use it for a while yet.
> On 11/12/2009 11:39 PM, Craig Ringer wrote:
>> Scott, Tom, Merlin:
>> Thanks for the comments and help. It's all sorted now - the origin of
>> the confusion was some outdated information in the JDBC driver
>> documentation.
>> The question arose because I was originally looking at polling from
>> (which I know I forgot to mention), where the docs state that:
>> "A key limitation of the JDBC driver is that it cannot receive
>> asynchronous notifications and must poll the backend to check if any
>> notifications were issued."
>> .... and show a `SELECT 1' being issued to push any notifications.
>> I'd assumed that was a JDBC limitation until I tested with psql and
>> found that it, too, required some kind of client-initiated
>> to see NOTIFY events, at which point I began wondering if the backend
>> pushed them at all rather than waiting for client interaction. Hence my
>> question.
>> Anyway, as pointed out, psql just doesn't bother polling for
>> notifications because it's not important for psql, but it could if it
>> needed to - the notifications are waiting in its recieve buffer for it
>> to notice and care.
>> As for the JDBC driver - it turns out that the documentation is
>> out-of-date and/or misleading. The JDBC driver *does* support reading
>> notifications the backend has pushed to its receive buffer, and does
>> *not* have to poll the backend or issue a statement to receive
>> notifications. Some searching suggests that this changed in 8.0 or 8.1
>> The documentation needs adjusting, so I've sent a patch to it off to
>> JDBC folks.
>> --
>> Craig Ringer

In response to


Browse pgsql-general by date

  From Date Subject
Next Message Martijn van Oosterhout 2009-12-21 09:41:11 Re: Charset Win1250 on Windows and Ubuntu
Previous Message Alex - 2009-12-21 09:38:31 Re: PL/Perl Performance Problems

Browse pgsql-jdbc by date

  From Date Subject
Next Message Craig Ringer 2009-12-21 12:27:05 Re: Cheapest way to poll for notifications? & Driver improvement question re SSL and notify
Previous Message Alexander Pyhalov 2009-12-21 09:19:52 Re: Get bytes sent to client