[metrics-bugs] #25274 [Metrics/Onionoo]: Consolidate Onionoo's API
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Fri Feb 16 10:04:38 UTC 2018
#25274: Consolidate Onionoo's API
Reporter: karsten | Owner: metrics-team
Type: enhancement | Status: new
Priority: Low | Milestone:
Component: Metrics/Onionoo | Version:
Severity: Normal | Keywords:
Actual Points: | Parent ID:
Points: | Reviewer:
The following ideas have been on my mind for quite some time. Therefore
How about we simplify Onionoo's API? Two ideas:
== Consolidate document types ==
We have 6 different document types right now:
- Summary documents with just a handful fields to support searches and to
enable subsequent requests for other documents. I hear they're not used by
Relay Search (anymore).
- Details documents with 80% of relevant content we serve.
- Bandwidth, weights, clients, and uptime documents all containing
The idea is to consolidate these 6 document types into one. Basically,
this would be the details document plus all history objects.
Of course, this would increase the size of responses a lot, and possibly
include data that the clients are not interested in. And we can't expect
clients to list a dozen or two dozen fields they're interested in by using
the `fields` parameter.
How about we add the history objects as optional fields and extend the
`fields` parameter to allow adding optional fields. Example:
- `fields=fingerprint` returns ''just'' the fingerprint field. This is
what we do right now, though only with details documents.
- `fields=+write_history,+read_history` returns all fields that are
currently in details documents plus the two history objects that are
currently in bandwidth documents.
- `fields=-effective_family` returns fields in details documents except
for the effective family. We don't need this syntax for this specific
feature, but it might make sense to add it while we're at it.
Benefits are a somewhat cleaner API and a reduced number of requests. I
think that requests would still be easy to cache, because clients like
Relay Search would always ask for the same combination of fields.
== Consolidate parameters ==
We have 19 different parameters right now, and I won't list them all here.
But our main client, Relay Search, only uses one of them: `search`. This
is possible, because we provide most parameters as qualified search terms.
The current situation of supporting a parameter both as HTTP parameter and
as qualified search term has led to confusion in the past. Sometimes
they're not exactly the same. In most cases supporting both requires more
We could provide just the `search` parameter and make sure that all other
parameters are supported as qualified search terms. Maybe we don't even
have to use a parameter in the HTTP sense but use the entire resource
string as (qualified) search terms.
== Example ==
Relay Search currently sends this query for the top 10 relays by consensus
weight (line breaks added for readability):
This query would then look as follows:
Subsequent queries for details pages look like this:
With the suggested changes, these queries would be turned into a single
== Implementation ==
I haven't looked at the code yet, but I believe we can make this change by
editing just the web server parts of Onionoo. We can even keep the
different document types on disk, as written by the updater. We just need
to tell the server to grab different documents and combine them into the
This doesn't mean it's trivial to implement. Still, I could imagine that
it pays off in the longer term, by making Onionoo's API a bit easier to
Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/25274>
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