2.2. Module expirationd

Module expirationd

For a commercial-grade example of a Lua rock that works with Tarantool, let us look at expirationd, which Tarantool supplies on GitHub with an Artistic license. The expirationd.lua program is lengthy (about 500 lines), so here we will only highlight the matters that will be enhanced by studying the full source later.

task.worker_fiber = fiber.create(worker_loop, task)
log.info("expiration: task %q restarted", task.name)

Whenever one hears “daemon” in Tarantool, one should suspect it’s being done with a fiber. The program is making a fiber and turning control over to it so it runs occasionally, goes to sleep, then comes back for more.

for _, tuple in scan_space.index[0]:pairs(nil, {iterator = box.index.ALL}) do
        if task.is_tuple_expired(task.args, tuple) then
        task.expired_tuples_count = task.expired_tuples_count + 1
        task.process_expired_tuple(task.space_id, task.args, tuple)

The “for” instruction can be translated as “iterate through the index of the space that is being scanned”, and within it, if the tuple is “expired” (for example, if the tuple has a timestamp field which is less than the current time), process the tuple as an expired tuple.

-- default process_expired_tuple function
local function default_tuple_drop(space_id, args, tuple)
    local key = fun.map(
        function(x) return tuple[x.fieldno] end,

Ultimately the tuple-expiry process leads to default_tuple_drop() which does a “delete” of a tuple from its original space. First the fun fun module is used, specifically fun.map. Remembering that index[0] is always the space’s primary key, and index[0].parts[N].fieldno is always the field number for key part N, fun.map() is creating a table from the primary-key values of the tuple. The result of fun.map() is passed to space_object:delete().

local function expirationd_run_task(name, space_id, is_tuple_expired, options)

At this point, if the above explanation is worthwhile, it’s clear that expirationd.lua starts a background routine (fiber) which iterates through all the tuples in a space, sleeps cooperatively so that other fibers can operate at the same time, and - whenever it finds a tuple that has expired - deletes it from this space. Now the “expirationd_run_task()” function can be used in a test which creates sample data, lets the daemon run for a while, and prints results.

For those who like to see things run, here are the exact steps to get expirationd through the test.

  1. Get expirationd.lua. There are standard ways - it is after all part of a standard rock - but for this purpose just copy the contents of expirationd.lua to a default directory.
  2. Start the Tarantool server as described before.
  3. Execute these requests:
fiber = require('fiber')
expd = require('expirationd')
e = box.schema.space.create('expirationd_test')
e:create_index('primary', {type = 'hash', parts = {1, 'unsigned'}})
e:replace{1, fiber.time() + 3}
e:replace{2, fiber.time() + 30}
function is_tuple_expired(args, tuple)
  if (tuple[2] < fiber.time()) then return true end
  return false
expd.run_task('expirationd_test', e.id, is_tuple_expired)
retval = {}

The database-specific requests (cfg, space.create, create_index) should already be familiar.

The function which will be supplied to expirationd is is_tuple_expired, which is saying “if the second field of the tuple is less than the current time , then return true, otherwise return false”.

The key for getting the rock rolling is expd = require('expirationd'). The “require” function is what reads in the program; it will appear in many later examples in this manual, when it’s necessary to get a module that’s not part of the Tarantool kernel. After the Lua variable expd has been assigned the value of the expirationd module, it’s possible to invoke the module’s run_task() function.

After sleeping for two seconds, when the task has had time to do its iterations through the spaces, expd.task_stats() will print out a report showing how many tuples have expired – “expired_count: 0”. After sleeping for two more seconds, expd.task_stats() will print out a report showing how many tuples have expired – “expired_count: 1”. This shows that the is_tuple_expired() function eventually returned “true” for one of the tuples, because its timestamp field was more than three seconds old.

Of course, expirationd can be customized to do different things by passing different parameters, which will be evident after looking in more detail at the source code.