Side Effects and Agents

Pretty much everything metrics-clojure does causes side effects. If you’re recording metrics inside of a dosync they may be recorded multiple times if the transaction is restarted.

This may or may not be what you want. If you’re recording how long it takes to do something, and you do it twice, then it makes sense to record it each time. If you’re recording how many responses get sent to a user, then you probably don’t want to overcount them.

metrics-clojure doesn’t try to decide for you. It leaves it up to you to handle the issue.

If you don’t want to record something multiple times, an agent may be a good way to handle things:

(def thing-given-to-user (agent (counter reg "thing-given-to-user")))

   (send thing-given-to-user inc!)
   (make-thing ...))

This works because the recording functions for counters, meters and histograms return the metric object.

This will *not* work with timers! time! returns the result of the work, so the agent’s value will be replaced by that and it won’t work more than once.

In practice this shouldn’t be a problem though, because if you’re timing work you’ll probably want to time it every time it happens, right?