Manual:Caching

MediaWiki uses caching in many components and at multiple layers. This page documents the various caches we use inside the MediaWiki PHP application.

GeneralEdit

The ObjectCache class provides interfaces for two kinds of caches:

  1. A place to store the result of a computation, or data fetched from an external source (for higher access speeds). This is a "cache" in the computer science definition.
  2. A place to store lightweight data not stored anywhere else. Also known as a stash (or "hoard" of objects). These are values that are not possible (or not allowed) to be recomputed on-demand.

TerminologyEdit

A cache key is said to be "verifiable" if the program is able to verify that the value is not outdated.

This applies when a key can only have one possible value, such as computing the 100th digit of Pi could be cached under key math_pi_digit:100. The result can be safely stored in high-speed access stores without coordination, because it will never need to be updated or purged. If it expires from the cache, it can be re-computed and produce the same result. The same applies to storing the wikitext of a certain revision to a page. Revision 123 has happened and will always contain the same content. If the program knows the revision ID it is looking for, a cache key like revision_content:123 could also be a verifiable cache key.

InterfacesEdit

These are the generic stores used by the various logical purposes described in the Uses section.

Local serverEdit

  • Accessed through ObjectCache::getLocalServerInstance().
  • Configurable: No (automatically detected).

Values in this store are only kept in the local RAM of any given web server (typically using php-apcu). These are not replicated to the other servers or clusters, and have no update or purge coordination options.

If the web server does not have php-apcu (or equivalent) installed, this interface falls back to an empty placeholder where no keys are stored. It is also set to an empty interface for maintenance scripts and other command-line modes. MediaWiki supports APCu, XCache, and WinCache.

WAN cacheEdit

Values in this store are stored centrally in the current data centre (typically using Memcached as backend). While values are not replicated to other clusters, "delete" and "purge" events for keys are broadcasted to other data centres for cache invalidation. See WANObjectCache class reference for how to use this.

In short: Compute and store values via the getWithSet method. To invalidate caches, use key purging (not by setting a key directly).

Local clusterEdit

  • Accessed through ObjectCache::getLocalClusterInstance().
  • Configurable: Yes, via $wgMainCacheType.

Mostly for internal use only, to offer limited coordination of actions within a given data centre. This uses the same storage backend as WAN cache, but under a different key namespace, and without any ability to broadcast purges to other data centres.

Main stashEdit

  • Accessed through MediaWikiServices->getMainObjectStash().
  • Configurable: Yes, via $wgMainStash.

Values in this store are stored centrally in the primary data centre, and later replicated to other data centres (typically using MySQL or Redis as backend). By default, keys will be read from a local replica and may be lagged. Master reads can be done using BagOStuff::READ_LATEST, but should only not happen during GET requests.

This store is expected to have strong persistence and is often used for data taht cannot be regenerated and is not stored elsewhere. However the data stored here must be non-critical and result in minimal user impact, thus allowing for the backend to sometimes be partially unavailable or wiped if under operational pressure without causing incidents.

UsesEdit

Interwiki cacheEdit

See Interwiki cache for details, and also ClearInterwikiCache.php.

Parser cacheEdit

  • Accessed via the ParserCache class.
  • Backend configured by $wgParserCacheType (typically MySQL).
  • Keys are canonical by page ID and populated when a page is parsed.
  • Revision ID is verified on retrieval.

See also Manual:Parser#ParserCache and purgeParserCache.php.

Message cacheEdit

  • Access via MessageCache.
  • Backend configurable by wgMessageCacheType (defaults to $wgMainCacheType, with fallback to MySQL).

Revision textEdit

  • Accessed via SqlBlobStore::getBlob.
  • Stored in the WAN cache, using key class SqlBlobStore-blob.
  • Keys are verifiable and values immutable. Cache is populated on demand.

BackgroundEdit

The main use case for caching revision text (as opposed to fetching directly from the text table or External Storage) is for handling cases where the text of many different pages is needed by a single web request.

This is primarily used by:

  • Parsing wikitext. When parsing a given wiki page, the Parser needs the source of the current page, but also recursively needs the source of all transcluded template pages (and Lua module pages). It is not unusual for a popular article to indirectly transclude over 300 such pages. The use of Memcached saves time when saving edits and rendering page views.
  • MessageCache. This is a wiki-specific layer on top of LocalisationCache, which consists primarily of message overrides from "MediaWiki:"-namespace pages on the given wiki. When building this blob, the source text of many different pages needs to be fetched. This is cached per-cluster in Memcached, and locally per-server (to reduce Memcached bandwidth ; r11678, commit 6d82fa2).

ExampleEdit

Key WANCache:v:global:SqlBlobStore-blob:<wiki>:<content address>.

"content address" refers to the content.content_address on the wiki's main database (e.g. "tt:1123"). This in turn refers to the text table or (External Storage).

To reverse engineer which page/revision this relates to, Find content.content_id for the content address (SELECT content_id FROM content WHERE content_address = "tt:963546992";), then find the revision ID for that content slot (SELECT slot_revision_id FROM slots WHERE slot_content_id = 943285896;),

The revision ID can then be used on-wiki in a url like https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=951705319, or you can look it up in the revision and page tables.

Revision meta dataEdit

  • Accessed via RevisionStore::getKnownCurrentRevision.
  • Stored in the WAN cache, using key class revision-row-1.29.
  • Keys are verifiable (by page and revision ID) and values immutable. Cache is populated on demand.

MessageBlobStoreEdit

Stores interface text used by ResourceLoader modules. It is similar to LocalisationCache, but includes the wiki-specific overrides. (LocalisationCache is wiki-agnostic). These overrides come from the database as wiki pages in the MediaWiki-namespace.

  • Accessed via MessageBlobStore.
  • Stored in the WAN cache, using key class MessageBlobStore.
  • Keys are verifiable (by ResourceLoader module name and hash of message keys). Values are mutable and expire after a week. Cache populated on demand.
  • All keys are purged when LocalisationCache is rebuild. When a user save a change to a MediaWiki-namespace page on the wiki, a subset of the keys are also purged.

Minification cacheEdit

ResourceLoader caches the minified versions of raw JavaScript and CSS input files.

  • Accessed via ResourceLoader::filter.
  • Stored locally on the server (APCu).
  • Keys are verifiable (deterministic value). No purge strategy needed. Cache populated on demand.

LESS compilation cacheEdit

ResourceLoader caches the meta data and parser output of LESS files it has compiled.

  • Accessed via ResourceLoaderFileModule::compileLessFile.
  • Stored locally on the server (APCu).

File content hasherEdit

ResourceLoader caches the checksum of any file directly or indirectly used by a module. When serving the startup manifest to users, it needs the hashes of many thousands of files. To reduce I/O overhead, it caches this content hash locally, keyed by path and mtime.

  • Accessed via FileContentsHasher.
  • Stored locally on the server (APCu).

See alsoEdit