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A user may take some action (such as updating their profile), rapidly refresh the view, and find that their recent change is not immediately reflected in the updated response.

This is because services such as the App View do not have transactional writes from a user's PDS. Therefore the views that they calculate are eventually consistent. In other words, a user may have created a record on their PDS that is not yet reflected in the API responses provided by the App View.

Because all requests from the application are sent to the user's PDS, the PDS is in a position to smooth over this behavior. Our PDS distribution provides some basic read-after-write behaviors by looking at response headers from the App View, determining if there are any new records that are not in the response, and modifying the response to reflect those new records.

The App View communicates the current state of its indices by setting the Atproto-Repo-Rev response header. This is set by the rev of the most recent commit that's been indexed from the requesting user's repository. If the PDS sees this header on a response, it will search for all records that it has locally that are more recent than the provided rev and determine if they affect the App View's response.

This read-after-write behavior only applies to records from the user making the request. Records from other users that happen to be on the same PDS will not affect the requesting user's response.

This behavior is somewhat at odds with the PDS's role in the network as an application-agnostic service. However, importantly, this read-after-write logic requires no application-specific indices, only application-specific logic. In the future this ability may be abstracted into a generic interface such that other applications can create "PDS plugins" to provide similar behavior.

Supported routes

This behavior is not applied exhaustively to all view routes in the PDS. We started with the views where it is most disruptive to have out-of-date data. Those include:

  • app.bsky.feed.getActorLikes
  • app.bsky.feed.getAuthorFeed
  • app.bsky.feed.getListFeed
  • app.bsky.feed.getPostThread
  • app.bsky.feed.getTimeline

This list will likely increase over time.