[lug] Fwd: Simple counter?

Anthony Foiani tkil at scrye.com
Fri May 24 23:22:19 MDT 2013

Paul Condon <pecondon1 at gmail.com> writes:

> I take [the existence of lockfile-progs] as proof that the issues
> involved in a "Simple Counter" have been considered by others before
> us, and that the full solution will be far from "simple" ;-)


> I suggest a system based on using email and a single mailing list server 
> listening for requests for the 'next' number. 

Now we're into "mortar as flyswatter" territory.  Possibly "tactical
nuke as flyswatter".

No doubt that there are situations where this is exactly the correct
solution.  I can't say that it's the first one that springs to mind,
though, given the original problem description.

> My belief is, further, that liblockfile is in the public domain and
> can be ported to any distribution to which it is not already ported,
> and that this list could be used as a test bed by reserving the
> subject line "test of simple counter" to identify incoming emails
> that are intended for the test. Or maybe set up an entirely separate
> list, but using the existing hardware.

And now you're so meta that I'm completely lost.  :)

>From my point of view, it seems clear that there is no one optimal way
to do it.  The "best way" will depend on the requirements of the given
use.  Everything from threads within the same process (for which
atomics is fine, maybe at the cost of a few instructions or a cache
line invalidation) all the way up to billions of internet hosts (where
the requirement for unique, sequential numbers is so great that it's
worth dozens of seconds and millions of cycles and possibly
non-trivial network bandwidth, let alone connectivity).

And that's ok.  I've had enough issues with projects that are bogged
down due to "perfect is the enemy of good" impasses.

Happy hacking,

More information about the LUG mailing list