Can @Stable (or something similar) be made accessible?

Vladimir Ivanov vladimir.x.ivanov at
Mon Jan 15 12:51:03 UTC 2018


I wouldn't consider @Stable as a scalpel :-)

It's heavily locked down for a reason: it wasn't designed for eventual 
standardization, but as (1) an experiment in _multiple_ directions; and 
(2) solution for immediate problems in java.lang.invoke.

@Stable mixes (incomplete implementations of) 2 independent features 
(lazy initialization of finals + constant arrays), while trusting 
instance finals is just a consequence of locking it down to privileged 
code (JIT-compilers already trust final instance fields in different 
core packages).

Current implementation doesn't enforce at runtime the contract and 
allows multiple writes to @Stable field. It is useful in rare cases, but 
overall significantly complicates proper usage of @Stable.

All those factors make @Stable unfit for public exposure in it's current 

Both referenced features are independently explored (as lazy finals and 
frozen arrays).

Also, @Stable is not a substitute for final fields: default value is 
treated specially (not optimized), while "final" covers the whole range 
of values of a type.

For optimizing final fields there are much more promising approaches:

   (1) optimistic optimizations in JITs: treat finals as constants and 
track updates invalidating code which relies on that (there were some 
experiments, e.g. [1]);

   (2) forbid final field updates at runtime after initialization is 
over and freely optimize them in JITs.

Both approaches still have some roadblocks on their way (deserialization 
relies on modifying final fields, hard to track final field values of 
individual objects in JVM, etc), but the platform steadily moves in the 
direction of treating final fields as truly final by default.

Best regards,
Vladimir Ivanov


On 1/12/18 7:33 AM, Jason Greene wrote:
> MethodHandle.invokeExact() can match the performance of direct invocation, but it requires constant folding to do so. Otherwise results are similar to Java reflection(e.g [1]).
> While TrustFinalNonStaticFields can be used, it’s a sledgehammer where a scalpel is really be more appropriate.
> The internal @Stable facility provides the desired semantics and precision, but it is heavily locked down, with privileged code checks and export restrictions. Could this be made more accessible (or perhaps a variant restricted to just final fields)? Informing the compiler that a final field is a true lazy initialized constant, with no store-to-final seems a pretty useful construct in general. I can understand that the long term desire is that this shouldn’t be necessary, and should be inferred [3], but at that point the annotation is still useful as documentation and legacy compatibility. If nothing else could it be allowed in non-privileged code via some flag?
> It seems odd that the much more aggressive facility (TrustFinalNonStaticFields) is simpler to use than a more targeted one.
> Thanks!
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]

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