RFR (S): CR 8004318/JEP 171 Fences intrinsics

Kirk Pepperdine kirk at kodewerk.com
Mon Dec 17 01:37:08 PST 2012

Hi Aleksey,

I half agree with you on the orthogonality comment. But you know my mantra.. "Measure, don't guess" and what these JEPs are saying, no screaming... lets guess!!! I've been quiet because 1) I've not had the time to offer well thought through or even half-baked alternatives and 2) these JEPs do provide functionality that I recognize is necessary. That said, this functionality is only useful under certain conditions that are only visible in the run time environment. If those conditions change for any reason, it's unclear what the effects of these "optimizations" will have on the run time. This implies a trip back to the code to correct a guess that has been incorrectly made. Almost analogous to a developer deciding it's a great time to call System.gc(). They maybe right... and certainly in some cases they *are* right. So, I wouldn't want to take the ability to call System.gc() away from developers. That said, I'm very happy to have the JVM decide to make that call on it's own 'cos that often works out much better. Ok, knowing that memory is full is easy to sort out especially compared to the false sharing problem. That said, giving programmers an annotation to deal with it without adding the heuristics into the JVM to eliminate it in the first place or at least a flag or MXBean to allow for some control in the run time feels funny. Not having a way to get a measure to expose that you have the problem in the first place simply feels wrong. Hence, the tie in. If we're going to expose this low level stuff than we also need to think about a measure to say you're suffering from that problem. That is what's missing from this JEP assuming we can't bury this functionality into the JVM it's self. If we need a complimentary JEP to cover this off I'm happy to start a new document.

-- Kirk

On 2012-12-17, at 10:07 AM, Aleksey Shipilev <aleksey.shipilev at oracle.com> wrote:

> On 12/17/2012 02:32 AM, Kirk Pepperdine wrote:
>> I think we should consider giving people access to the MSRs.
> This is at very least orthogonal, if not completely unrelated to Fences
> discussion. You should consider filing the JEP for exposing MSRs and
> work there to discuss the Java MSR support.
> -Aleksey.

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