Decrementing Values in Memcached Using Golang (Detailed Guide w/ Code Examples)

Use Case(s)

The Decr method in Memcached is commonly used when you need to decrement the value of a key. This is typically useful in scenarios where you are tracking counts or implementing rate limiting.

Code Examples

Here's how to use the Decr method with a Golang Memcached client:

First, establish a connection to your memcached server:

package main import ( "" "log" ) func main() { mc := memcache.New("") // Check if the connection was successful if mc == nil { log.Fatal("Failed to create memcache client") } }

Next, let's use the Decr method. In this example, we'll first set a key counter to 100 and then decrement it:

// Set an initial value for counter mc.Set(&memcache.Item{Key: "counter", Value: []byte("100")}) // Decrement the counter by 10 newVal, err := mc.Decrement("counter", 10) if err != nil { log.Fatal(err) } log.Printf("New value of counter: %d", newVal)

In the above code snippet, mc.Decrement("counter", 10) will decrement the counter key's value by 10. The function returns the new value so you can check the result instantly. Please note that the value associated with the key has to be numeric, otherwise Decr will return an error.

Best Practices

  • Always check for errors when using the Decr method. It can return an error if the key doesn't exist, or if the value isn't a numeric type.
  • Memcached treats numbers as unsigned integers. That means that decrementing a value below 0 will underflow to the maximum possible unsigned integer.

Common Mistakes

  • Attempting to decrement a non-numeric value can lead to errors. Ensure your values are always numeric before performing a decrement operation.


Q: What happens if I try to decrement a key that doesn't exist? A: The Decr function will return an error if the key does not exist. You should always handle these errors in your code.

Q: Can I decrement a value below zero? A: No, you cannot. Memcached stores all numbers as unsigned integers. If you attempt to decrement a number below zero, it will underflow and become incredibly large.

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