stringStream in UL and nested ResourceMarks

Thomas Stüfe thomas.stuefe at
Tue Jun 6 09:40:02 UTC 2017

Hi all,

In our VM we recently hit something similar to or

A stringStream* was handed down to nested print functions which create
their own ResourceMarks and, while being down the stack under the scope of
that new ResourceMark, the stringStream needed to enlarge its internal
buffer. This is the situation the assert inside stringStream::write()
attempts to catch (assert(Thread::current()->current_resource_mark() ==
rm); in our case this was a release build, so we just crashed.

The solution for both JDK-816795 and JDK-8149557 seemed to be to just
remove the offending ResourceMarks, or shuffle them around, but generally
this is not an optimal solution, or?

We actually question whether using resource area memory is a good idea for
outputStream chuild objects at all:

outputStream instances typically travel down the stack a lot by getting
handed sub-print-functions, so they run danger of crossing resource mark
boundaries like above. The sub functions are usually oblivious to the type
of outputStream* handed down, and as well they should be. And if the
allocate resource area memory themselves, it makes sense to guard them with
ResourceMark in case they are called in a loop.

The assert inside stringStream::write() is not a real help either, because
whether or not it hits depends on pure luck - whether the realloc code path
is hit just in the right moment while printing. Which depends on the buffer
size and the print history, which is variable, especially with logging.

The only advantage to using bufferedStream (C-Heap) is a small performance
improvement when allocating. The question is whether this is really worth
the risk of using resource area memory in this fashion. Especially in the
context of UL where we are about to do expensive IO operations (writing to
log file) or may lock (os::flockfile).

Also, the difference between bufferedStream and stringStream might be
reduced by improving bufferedStream (e.g. by using a member char array for
small allocations and delay using malloc() for larger arrays.)

What you think? Should we get rid of stringStream and only use an (possibly
improved) bufferedStream? I also imagine this could make UL coding a bit

Thank you,

Kind Regards, Thomas

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