[Twisted-Python] adbapi, transactions and threading

Atilla theatilla at gmail.com
Fri Apr 4 11:01:40 EDT 2008

I hope it won't be too confusing. I'm basically trying to make sure
I've grasped the concept - do correct me on anything I am wrong about
or my way of thinking confuses you, please.

I'm not used to running blocking calls and deferToThread a lot, so I
wanted to make sure I understand that correctly.

Basically, the way I understand it - adbapi is just a deferToThread
wrapper around the normal python API, correct? As in - if I used
something different to access my database, for example - sqlalchemy, I
would only need to appropriately wrap that functionality with
deferToThread, just as adbapi does?

That's one thing. Now - what I'm trying to do in essence is to load
some big chunk of data out of the DB, process it, and save it back.
I'd use a nice chain of deffered calls - one runQuery, one for the
processing, and one runOperation. However, I need transaction
functionality, so unless I'm mistaken, my only choice is

Since that's automatically ran in a separate thread, I see it as a
monolithic piece of code -> query, processing call, saving query -> no
deffereds can take place there. Am I wrong on that one? Even if so -
it won't be that bad for me, since good part of the processing will be
handled by an external library (GIL released - says so, more cores
used, makes me happy).

That leads me to the next question - when I've got long code to run
and it happens to use an external, thread-safe, C library, releasing
the GIL, I should probably always take care to defer it to thread, if
I wanted to take advantage of multiple cores, correct? Otherwise, I
wouldn't have any parallelism gains, which I can get, because of the
GIL release. And let's say that my processing code can take a while

Which leads me to the other question - what should I do in the case
where I need to occasionally run big chunks of code. No blocking
calls, just crunch something down. Is deferToThread the only solution
for that? Is the idea to compose that as big deffered chains so other
processing might run normally, instead of wait for the big function to
exit? Because deferToThread will only get me anything, if there's a
blocking call inside, or if I mange to get parallelism out of it, if
it's something handled by GIL-released code.

Sorry if I sound too confusing, I'm trying to wrap it all in my head
before I dive in handling the service.

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