TallyCounter Code Climate

Tally web application hits with Rack & Redis sorted sets


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'tally_counter'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install tally_counter


In your config.ru or middleware configuration:

use TallyCounter::Middleware

# Options

# Provide a Redis instance
use TallyCounter::Middleware, :redis => $redis

# Use a 15 minute interval window
use TallyCounter::Middleware, :interval => 900

# Use a namespace prefix for keys
use TallyCounter::Middleware, :namespace => 'my_app_name'

# Timeout to Redis in 0.001 seconds
use TallyCounter::Middleware, :timeout => 0.001

# Inject a logger
use TallyCounter::Middleware, :logger => some_logger

It is adviseable you configure TallyCounter::Middleware before your main application (so Rails, Sinatra, etc) but after your static/cache layer. You probably don't want to be tracking hits against CSS, js, etc.

If you wish to avoid counting actions from further down the stack, you may inject a response header:

headers['X-Tally-Counter-Skip'] = 'true'

Note the mere presence of the header and not its value is enough to cause a count skip.

Redis connections

Its advisable to inject your own Redis connection as well as use hiredis-rb for making connections to Redis. hiredis is faster than the redis-rb driver as it wraps the C client. Quickstart to get redis to connect with hiredis:

require "redis"
require "redis/connection/hiredis"
require "tally_counter"

Redis connections you (or TallyCounter) create will now use the faster client.

Keys and Scoring

The system uses Redis sorted sets for tracking application hits. For each request, a key will be generated, and the score for the remote request ip will be incremented by 1.

Keys are generated like 'tally_counter:1371283200' where the time is the epoch seconds floor for the current window. The floor for a 5 minute interval at 12:38 would be 12:35, at 12:33 it's 12:30, and so on.

Keys are generated using the TallyCounter::KeyGenerate class. This can be used in client applications for generating keys for Redis lookups.

# Create a key generator for 5 minute windows with :foo namespace
key_generate = TallyCounter::KeyGenerate.new(300, :foo)
# Generate a key for the current time
# Generate a key from 10 minutes ago
key_generate.for(Time.now, 2)

It is recommended to use a scheduled process to inspect tally_counter sets past a certain age (say, 3 days) and prune them to keep your data set small and clean.

Finding totals for a range of time can be accomplished via a Redis zunionstore on a range of keys. For example, if you have a a 5 minute interval and want to see the last 15 minutes, simple grab the current window and the 2 previous and union them with equally weighted scoring. See TallyCounter::Window#floor for generating window times and offsets.


In the interest of giving this gem a single responsibility, reporting can be offloaded to other systems. It should be easy to deploy a separate admin application connected to the same server, and use the TallyCounter::Window class for generating keys.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request