Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dynamic properties in Java

Motivation

I've been looking at the problem of dynamic properties in Java. Typically properties are injected into a program at start and never change. Common examples include timeouts, host names, etc. Changing these requires and edit and restart (edit can also mean an update to a remote data source).

What I want is runtime updates to properties, and the program uses the new values. Hence "dynamic properties".

There are several schemes for this built around frameworks or external data sources. I want something using only the JDK.

Interfaces

My interfaces became one for tracking key-value pairs, one for updating them (javadoc munged to display in post):

/**
 * Tracking tracks string key-value pairs, tracking external updates
 * to the boxed values.  Optionally tracks them as a type converted from
 * string.  Example use: 
 * Tracking dynafig = ...;
 * Optional<AtomicReference<String>> prop = dynafig.track("prop");
 * boolean propDefined = prop.isPresent();
 * AtomicReference<String> propRef = prop.get();
 * String propValue = propRef.get();
 * // External source updates key-value pair for "prop"
 * String newPropValue = propRef.get();
* * In an injection context:
 * class Wheel {
 *     private final AtomicInteger rapidity;
 *
 *     @Inject
 *     public Wheel(final Tracking dynafig) {
 *         rapidity = dynafig.track("rapidity").
 *                 orElseThrow(() -> new IllegalStateException(
 *                         "Missing 'rapidity' property));
 *     }
 *
 *     public void spin() {
 *         spinAtRate(rapidity.get());
 *     }
 * }
* * @author Brian Oxley * @see Updating Updating key-value pairs * @see Default Reference implementation */ public interface Tracking { /** * Tracks the given key value as a string. Returns empty if * key is undefined. If key is defined, may stil * return a null boxed value. * * @param key the key, never missing * * @return the optional atomic value string, never missing * * @todo Some way to work out type from convert */ @Nonnull Optional<AtomicReference<String>> track(@Nonnull final String key); /** * Tracks the given key value as a boolean. Returns empty if * key is undefined. * * @param key the key, never missing * * @return the optional atomic value boolean, never missing */ @Nonnull Optional<AtomicBoolean> trackBool(@Nonnull final String key); /** * Tracks the given key value as an integer. Returns empty if * key is undefined. * * @param key the key, never missing * * @return the optional atomic value integer, never missing */ @Nonnull Optional<AtomicInteger> trackInt(@Nonnull final String key); /** * Tracks the given key value as type. Returns * empty if key is undefined. If key is defined, * may stil return a null boxed value. * * @param key the key, never missing * @param type the value type token, never missing * @param convert the value converter, never missing * @param <T> the value type * * @return the optional atomic value reference, never missing * * @todo Some way to work out type from convert */ @Nonnull <T> Optional<AtomicReference<T>> trackAs(@Nonnull final String key, @Nonnull final Class<T> type, // TODO: Can this be worked out? @Nonnull final Function<String, T> convert); }
/**
 * {@code Updating} updates key-value pairs.
 *
 * @author Brian Oxley
 * @see Tracking Tracking key-value pairs
 * @see Default Reference implementation
 */
public interface Updating {
    /**
     * Updates a key-value pair with a new value.
     *
     * @param key the key, never missing
     * @param value the value, possibly null
     *
     * @return true if updated else false if created
     */
    boolean update(@Nonnull final String key, @Nullable final String value);

    /**
     * Updates a key-value pair as a map entry for convenience.
     *
     * @param entry the entry, never missing
     *
     * @return true if updated else false if created
     * @see #update(String, String)
     */
    default boolean update(@Nonnull final Map.Entry<String, String> entry) {
        return update(entry.getKey(), entry.getValue());
    }

    /**
     * Updates a set of key-value pairs for convenience.  Each key is
     * invidually updated in entry-set order.
     *
     * @param values the key-value set, never missing
     *
     * @see #update(String, String)
     */
    default void updateAll(@Nonnull final Map<String, String> values) {
        values.entrySet().stream().
                forEach(this::update);
    }
}

Team lead

I built a reference implementation to demonstrate these were plausible. To my team I explained like this:

  • Coded very much in Java 8 functional style
  • Trivial API - 4 tracking calls (variants on return type), 1 updating call (plus 2 convenience)
  • Minimal dependencies - JDK + javax.annotations (@Nonnull)
  • Thread-safe, not concurrency-safe (lost updates, etc). Fine if properties are not updated on top of each other (i.e., several in the same microsecond)
  • I expect it to be straight-forward to integrate into JSR107, Cassandra, etc, but I've not tried this from home

And offered some advice to my juniors:

  • Be functional where sensible, the benefits are almost beyond enumeration
  • Corollary: Avoid state - in Java that means fields. Temp variables (locals) are debatable and come down to individual taste. I lean to avoiding them, but there's nothing wrong with creating locals that clarify the code for others (including yourself 6 mos. later)
  • Corollary: Push fields down as low as possible, avoid globals and "local globals" (static fields)
  • Complicate your data structure, not your calls. People reason about complex data structures much better than they do about complex logic
  • Avoid null. Really. Treat all uses of null as code smell - think of it as "machine level" programming. You should do high-level programming

Implementation

All tests pass. The reference implementation:

public final class Default
        implements Tracking, Updating {
    private final Map<String, Value> keys = new ConcurrentHashMap<>();
    private final Map<String, Value> values = new ConcurrentHashMap<>();

    public Default() {
    }

    public Default(@Nonnull final Map<String, String> keys) {
        updateAll(keys);
    }

    @Nonnull
    @Override
    public Optional<AtomicReference<String>> track(
            @Nonnull final String key) {
        return Optional.ofNullable(keys.get(key)).
                map(Value::get);
    }

    @Nonnull
    @Override
    public Optional<AtomicBoolean> trackBool(@Nonnull final String key) {
        return Optional.ofNullable(keys.get(key)).
                map(Value::getBool);
    }

    @Nonnull
    @Override
    public Optional<AtomicInteger> trackInt(@Nonnull final String key) {
        return Optional.ofNullable(keys.get(key)).
                map(Value::getInt);
    }

    @Nonnull
    @Override
    public <T> Optional<AtomicReference<T>> trackAs(@Nonnull final String key,
            @Nonnull final Class<T> type,
            @Nonnull final Function<String, T> convert) {
        return Optional.ofNullable(keys.get(key)).
                map(v -> v.getAs(type, convert));
    }

    @Override
    public boolean update(@Nonnull final String key,
            @Nullable final String value) {
        return null != keys.put(key, values.compute(key,
                (k, v) -> null == v ? new Value(value) : v.update(value)));
    }

    private static final class Atomic<T> {
        private final T atomic;
        private final Consumer<String> update;

        private static Atomic<AtomicReference<String>> of(
                final String value) {
            final AtomicReference<String> atomic = new AtomicReference<>(
                    value);
            return new Atomic<>(atomic, atomic::set);
        }

        private static Atomic<AtomicBoolean> boolOf(final String value) {
            final AtomicBoolean atomic = new AtomicBoolean(
                    null == value ? false : Boolean.valueOf(value));
            return new Atomic<>(atomic,
                    v -> atomic.set(null == v ? false : Boolean.valueOf(v)));
        }

        private static Atomic<AtomicInteger> intOf(final String value) {
            final AtomicInteger atomic = new AtomicInteger(
                    null == value ? 0 : Integer.valueOf(value));
            return new Atomic<>(atomic,
                    v -> atomic.set(null == v ? 0 : Integer.valueOf(v)));
        }

        private static <T> Atomic<AtomicReference<T>> asOf(final String value,
                final Function<String, T> convert) {
            final AtomicReference<T> atomic = new AtomicReference<>(
                    convert.apply(value));
            return new Atomic<>(atomic, v -> atomic.set(convert.apply(v)));
        }

        private Atomic(final T atomic, final Consumer<String> update) {
            this.atomic = atomic;
            this.update = update;
        }

        private void update(final String value) {
            update.accept(value);
        }
    }

    private final class Value {
        @Nullable
        private final String value;
        private final Map<Class<?>, Atomic<?>> values;

        private Value(final String value) {
            this(value, new ConcurrentHashMap<>(3));
        }

        private Value(@Nullable final String value,
                final Map<Class<?>, Atomic<?>> values) {
            this.value = value;
            this.values = values;
        }

        private Value update(final String value) {
            final Value newValue = new Value(value, values);
            newValue.values.values().stream().
                    forEach(a -> a.update(value));
            return newValue;
        }

        @SuppressWarnings("unchecked")
        private AtomicReference<String> get() {
            return (AtomicReference<String>) values.
                    computeIfAbsent(String.class,
                            k -> Atomic.of(value)).atomic;
        }

        private AtomicBoolean getBool() {
            return (AtomicBoolean) values.
                    computeIfAbsent(Boolean.class,
                            k -> Atomic.boolOf(value)).atomic;
        }

        private AtomicInteger getInt() {
            return (AtomicInteger) values.
                    computeIfAbsent(Integer.class,
                            k -> Atomic.intOf(value)).atomic;
        }

        @SuppressWarnings("unchecked")
        private <T> AtomicReference<T> getAs(final Class<T> type,
                final Function<String, T> convert) {
            return (AtomicReference<T>) values.
                    computeIfAbsent(type,
                            k -> Atomic.asOf(value, convert)).atomic;
        }

        @Override
        public boolean equals(final Object o) {
            if (this == o)
                return true;
            if (o == null || getClass() != o.getClass())
                return false;
            final Value that = (Value) o;
            return Objects.equals(value, that.value);
        }

        @Override
        public int hashCode() {
            return Objects.hash(value);
        }
    }
}
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