[kaffe] [gump] utf8const.c

Helmer Krämer hkraemer at freenet.de
Wed Jan 5 06:23:43 PST 2005

Guilhem Lavaux <guilhem at kaffe.org> wrote:

> Helmer Krämer wrote:
> > Davanum Srinivas <dims at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> >>looks like we need a lock for locking access to utfLockRoot :(
> >>
> > 
> > 
> > I'd think that the whole utfLockRoot thing is broken (you'd
> > need one utfLockRoot per thread since it's perfectly legal
> > for two threads to work on utf8 constants at the same time).
> > However, I think we could just remove the utfLockRoot thing
> > completely, couldn't we? Even if one of the allocations in
> > utf8const.c triggers a garbage collection, the thread holding
> > the utf8Lock will be resumed before the finaliser starts to
> > free unreachable objects (at least with kaffe-gc). This means
> > that we don't have to drop the lock before doing an allocation,
> > which renders utf8LockRoot useless. Or I just overlooked
> > something ...
> > 
> > Regards,
> > Helmer 
> The problem is that utf constants are cached in a hash table. If two 
> strings are exactly equals then utf8const does not create a new 
> constant. I don't know if the approach is justified but this justifies 
> the use UTF locking as only one thread at a time should touch the 
> hashtable.

Yeah, it's supposed to work pretty much like String.intern()

> The assertion failure in itself is disturbing: it's like the 
> fast lock subsystem is not working properly as it lets at least two 
> threads running concurrently on that part of the code.

UTFmalloc and UTFfree drop the utf8Lock before gc_malloc (or
gc_free) and try to reacquire it afterwards. To do this, they
use utfLockRoot to save the id of the thread holding the lock.
So it looks like this is not working properly, but I'm also not
sure whether we really need this:

Dropping the lock before invoking gc_malloc / gc_free only
makes sense if a deadlock might occur if a thread holds the
utf8Lock and is suspended in gc_malloc or gc_free. The gc
thread itself however, will never try to acquire the utf8Lock,
as it only scans the memory but neither allocates nor frees
utf8 constants. The only gc-related thread that might try to
acquire the utf8Lock is the finaliser thread, but that one can't
cause a deadlock as the thread that invoked gc_malloc/gc_free
will already have been resumed when the finaliser thread is

So I think we could use the normal lockStaticMutex/unlockStaticMutex
functions to lock/unlock the utf8Lock and don't have to drop
the utf8Lock during the calls to gc_malloc / gc_free (which
means that we don't need the utfLockRoot variable any more).


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