#Blurtopian Development: Blocktivity Statistics API Update

in blurtopian •  4 months ago  (edited)


Have you ever experienced waking up and something's on fire? Well, that's what I experienced today. I woke up with an emergency. I was scheduled to work on another task this morning, unfortunately, because of a bug in the previous version of Blurt's blocktivity api, I ended up spending the last hour working and debugging it.

Yup, that's the life of a software developer. Sometimes your software works, sometimes it kicks you in the butt. Sometimes, you're a firefighter. This time, the fire's mental and in the software you created and you're the one responsible for putting out the fire.

I won't be writing much about it, but I'll be sharing the screenshots I shared with @megadrive.

Basically, the fault's mine. I assumed that the program's working as intended without checking or testing if it was indeed behaving the way I expected or thought it would behave.

The problem was in the setting of the timestamp field in the blockchainstats document. This field determined a document's time-to-live[1] in mongodb:

Stands for “time to live” and represents an expiration time or period for a given piece of information to remain in a cache or other temporary storage before the system deletes it or ages it out. MongoDB has a TTL collection feature. See Expire Data from Collections by Setting TTL.
[1] https://docs.mongodb.com/manual/reference/glossary/#term-ttl

It seems that the timestamp which I declared to have a default value of Date.now is not being set when I use mongoose's findOneAndUpdate. I'm not sure but that seems to be the case.

const BlockchainStatsSchema = new Schema({
  timestamp: {
    type: Date,
    expires: '125m',
    default: Date.now

I chose to use this method as an elegant way of writing code. Unfortunately again, writing for elegance is not always the best approach when using a syntax you're not yet familiar with.

When starting, writing for safety is better than writing for elegance

As such, I had to re-write the code so that it ensures that the timestamp field is set. The fix is in this commit.

Instead of just using findOneAndUpdate, I checked first if a document for a certain hour already exists. If it's not, then I create a new BlockchainStats document and use the model's save method.

      let hour = moment().utc().format("HH00");
      let doc = await BlockchainStats.find({ key: hour });
      if (doc.length === 0) {
        let doc = new BlockchainStats(
            key: hour,
            operations: ops_count,
            transactions : trx_count,
            timestamp: new Date()
        await doc.save();
      } else {
        await BlockchainStats.findOneAndUpdate(
          { key: hour },
            $inc : { operations: ops_count, transactions : trx_count }

To check if the timestamp field is set and that the document gets automatically deleted when it expires, here are the screenshots I shared with @megadrive.

TTL index definition


Timestamp set


Document automatically deleted (after 125 minutes)


Again, I'd like to apologize to @megadrive for this miss and would like to thank @therealwolf for reporting it.

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I wish I could understand much more of this Techy stuff, but I'm just very glad that you have the technical ability to fix code for Blurt 🤓

Thank you. Besides fixing, there's also the importance of testing. :)

The content of this post goes above my head :)

However, it appears to me that you are doing great job for this platform. Claps :)

No worries. This is highly technical. I'll try to add a tldr; to explain it in a non-technical way.

Thanks for your quick response and professional way of handling it!

Thank you. Yup, didn't want to put gas on fire.

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