Wednesday, September 25, 2019

New server for weleup

Lino now gives a better error message when appy happens to not be installed at all.

Fixed two unexpected problems

Tonis and I had a few hours of fun.

  • We fixed #3225 (saving a locked row does not unlock it). The code (lino.modlib.system.Lockable) was simply rotten. The after_ui_save() method is not needed.

  • #3225 : Action preprocessors (the optional function given by lino.core.actions.Action.preprocessor) may now optionally add an attribut timeout to the returned object. This means that Lino should wait before sending the action’s AJAX call.

    This is used by lino_xl.lib.beid.BeIdReadCardAction and lino_xl.lib.beid.FindByBeIdAction to make sure (or rather probable) that eidreader has done its work before the action runs on the server. This is needed when nginx is running with a single worker process. We should remove that timeout when #3228 is done. Later I made this value configurable via a new plugin setting preprocessor_delay.

Handling callbacks with multiple worker processes

But the big problem is #3228 (callbacks under nginx with multiple worker process). We did some research for exploring this. Seems that we are going to have some more fun.

I tried whether multiprocessing can help us:

from multiprocessing import Process, Manager

def somefunc():

def f(d):
    # d['2'] = 2
    # d[0.25] = None
    # l.reverse()

if __name__ == '__main__':
    with Manager() as manager:
        d = manager.dict()
        # l = manager.list(range(10))

        d[1] = somefunc

        p = Process(target=f, args=(d, ))

        # print(l)

I guess that if we manage to serialize callbacks, it should be rather easy to distribute our pending_threads dict over several processes using multiprocessing or Redis or Memcached. Memcached looks good:

According to this article by Emlyn O’Regan we can maybe use dill in order to serialize functions. Dill is like Pickle, but it serializes functions by their internal descriptors (__code__, __closure__ etc.).

But we are not yet there. Let’s first try whether dill is able to serialize all callback functions of the test suite.

We can test this easily: instead of storing the function object itself, I store its serialized image. So in lino.core.kernel.CallbackChoice.__init__() I say:

# self.func = func
self.func_s = dill.dumps(func)

And in lino.core.kernel.Kernel.run_callback() I say:

# c.func(ar)
func = dill.loads(c.func_s)

Search for “dill” in and invert the commenting if you want to replay the following.

Yes, that seems to work in some cases. But not always. For example a test case in fails after above changes:

$ go watch
$ python test tests.test_basics

The error message is:

_pickle.PicklingError: Can't pickle <class 'django.utils.functional.lazy.<locals>.__proxy__'>: it's not found as django.utils.functional.lazy.<locals>.__proxy__

Here is relevant code of lino.core.actions.DeleteSelected with the ok() function it is trying to serialize:

def run_from_ui(self, ar, **kw):
    objects = []
    for obj in ar.selected_rows:
        msg =, ar)
        if msg is not None:
            ar.error(None, msg, alert=True)

    def ok(ar2):
        super(DeleteSelected, self).run_from_ui(ar, **kw)

        # hack required for extjs:

    d = dict(num=len(objects), targets=', '.join(objects))
    if len(objects) == 1:
    msg = gettext("You are about to delete %(num)d %(type)s:\n%(targets)s") % d
    ar.confirm(ok, u"{}\n{}".format(msg, gettext("Are you sure ?")))

Note that the local function ok() defined in above code uses one variable that is defined locally by the defining scope (namely ar). This is probably what’s causing troubles because when I change the line

super(DeleteSelected, self).run_from_ui(ar, **kw)


super(DeleteSelected, self).run_from_ui(ar2, **kw)

(IOW I remove the only use of the variable ar), then the serialization works. But the result is not what we want (ar is the original request while ar2 is its successor which gets instantiated when the answer arrives). Callback functions need to be able to access local variables defined previously by their original request.

I pushed some cosmetic changes to lino (default for TIME_ZONE is now “UTC” instead of None, and I replaced some lazy text translations by immediate translations because the problem seems to come because there are still calls to django.utils.functional.lazy() hanging around).

Note that the mentioned Medium article by Emlyn O’Regan has three follow-ups that seem to be quite close to what we need. And in the fourth article he posts a code snippet that might work for us. But this was more than three years ago. Isn’t this already merged into dill? I wouldn’t want to rely on this code if it is not tested and maintained by competent people…