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๐Ÿ’ฃ Tech Debt

This is a (likely incomplete) list of hacks present in the trulens_eval library. They are likely a source of debugging problems so ideally they can be addressed/removed in time. This document is to serve as a warning in the meantime and a resource for hard-to-debug issues when they arise.

In notes below, "HACK###" can be used to find places in the code where the hack lives.

Stack inspecting

See docstring for discussion why these are done.

  • We inspect the call stack in process of tracking method invocation. It may be possible to replace this with contextvars.

  • "HACK012" -- In the optional imports scheme, we have to make sure that imports that happen from outside of trulens raise exceptions instead of producing dummies without raising exceptions.

Method overriding

See docstring for discussion why these are done.

  • We override and wrap methods from other libraries to track their invocation or API use. Overriding for tracking invocation is done in the base class while for tracking costs are in the base Endpoint class.

  • "HACK009" -- Cannot reliably determine whether a function referred to by an object that implements __call__ has been instrumented. Hacks to avoid warnings about lack of instrumentation.

Thread overriding

See docstring for discussion why these are done.

  • "HACK002" -- We override ThreadPoolExecutor in concurrent.futures.

  • "HACK007" -- We override Thread in threading.


  • ~~"HACK001" -- trace_method decorator in llama_index does not preserve function signatures; we hack it so that it does.~~ Fixed as of llama_index 0.9.26 or near there.


  • "HACK003" -- We override the base class of langchain_core.runnables.config.ContextThreadPoolExecutor so it uses our thread starter.


  • "HACK006" -- endpoint needs to be added as a keyword arg with default value in some __init__ because pydantic overrides signature without default value otherwise.

  • "HACK005" -- model_validate inside WithClassInfo is implemented in decorated method because pydantic doesn't call it otherwise. It is uncertain whether this is a pydantic bug.

  • We dump attributes marked to be excluded by pydantic except our own classes. This is because some objects are of interest despite being marked to exclude. Example: RetrievalQA.retriever in langchain.


  • "HACK004" -- Outdated, need investigation whether it can be removed.

  • ~~async/sync code duplication -- Many of our methods are almost identical duplicates due to supporting both async and synced versions. Having trouble with a working approach to de-duplicated the identical code.~~ Fixed. See utils/

  • ~~"HACK008" -- async generator -- Some special handling is used for tracking costs when async generators are involved. See feedback/provider/endpoint/ Fixed in endpoint code.

  • "HACK010" -- cannot tell whether something is a coroutine and need additional checks in sync/desync.

  • "HACK011" -- older pythons don't allow use of Future as a type constructor in annotations. We define a dummy type Future in older versions of python to circumvent this but have to selectively import it to make sure type checking and mkdocs is done right.

  • "HACK012" -- same but with Queue.

  • Similarly, we define NoneType for older python versions.

  • "HACK013" -- when using from __future__ import annotations for more convenient type annotation specification, one may have to call pydantic's BaseModel.model_rebuild after all types references in annotations in that file have been defined for each model class that uses type annotations that reference types defined after its own definition (i.e. "forward refs").

  • "HACK014" -- cannot from trulens_eval import schema in some places due to strange interaction with pydantic. Results in:

AttributeError: module 'pydantic' has no attribute 'v1'

It might be some interaction with "from future import annotations" and/or OptionalImports.