RFR(XS): 8214534: Setting of THIS_FILE in the build is broken

Volker Simonis volker.simonis at gmail.com
Fri Nov 30 18:03:08 UTC 2018

On Fri, Nov 30, 2018 at 6:37 PM Erik Joelsson <erik.joelsson at oracle.com> wrote:
> Hello Volker,
> The fix looks good. Thanks for finding and fixing it!


> Now for some history on why THIS_FILE. The short story is that it's for
> more reproducible and comparable builds.
> When we started the build infra project, one of the design decisions was
> to use absolute paths everywhere to avoid having to keep track of the
> current directory, and to make all command lines in the build be simply
> copy and paste in a terminal to rerun.
> A consequence of this was that the __FILE__ macro then also expands to
> absolute paths. This made binary build comparisons much harder. Very
> often (especially in the build infra project itself) we use elaborate
> comparison methods to verify that a build change does not change the
> output of the build in any unwanted way. We then introduced the
> THIS_FILE macro to get rid of the absolute paths baked into our binaries
> which got rid of a huge source of binary noise preventing reproducible
> builds.
> Note that two different builds with slightly different output
> directories (or in the build-infra project case, completely different
> output structure for generated sources) will generate absolute source
> paths of different lengths. This will cause otherwise equivalent
> binaries to differ greatly due to different alignment, not just because
> of different contents in those strings.
> With this change, we could count on object files (at least for GCC) to
> always end up binary equivalent.
> In my long term vision, I would like to get the OpenJDK build even more
> reproducible, but it's currently not a high priority task. I would be
> very hard to convince of reducing the level of reproducible output we
> have though.

Thanks for the background information. But as far as I can see, this
currently only works because "THIS_FILE" is always empty which of
course makes builds to various locations highly comparable :) On the
other hand, HotSpot is not using THIS_FILE at all and "__FILE__" quite
a lot.

Don't get me wrong. I highly appreciate the feature of having absolute
path names in the build to make all command lines in the build
self-contained (I use that feature every day :). And I also support
the goal of making builds even more reproducible. But does this goal
not apply to hotspot (or is it just on the TODO list ?).

In the end, I'm happy with the current, minimal fix which at least
gets the logs working again.

And maybe for the follow up change we should then better move all
"__FILE__" occurrences in HotSpot to "THIS_FILE" instead of getting
rid of "THIS_FILE"?

Best regards,

> /Erik
> On 2018-11-30 09:05, Volker Simonis wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > can I please have a review for the following trivial fix:
> >
> > http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~simonis/webrevs/2018/8214534/
> > https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8214534
> >
> > DISCLAIMER: "XS" refers to the size of the fix, not the size of the
> > explanation :)
> >
> > Currently the compilation of native files defines "THIS_FILE" to hold
> > the name of the current compilation unit. However, setting "THIS_FILE"
> > in NativeCompilation.gmk is broken and results in "THIS_FILE" always
> > being the empty string. I first thought that this is just a simple
> > quoting issue, but after I couldn't get it working, I found the
> > following explanation in the GNU Make manual [1]:
> >
> > "A common mistake is attempting to use $@ within the prerequisites
> > list; this will not work. However, there is a special feature of GNU
> > make, secondary expansion (see Secondary Expansion), which will allow
> > automatic variable values to be used in prerequisite lists."
> >
> > I'm not a Make expert, but I think this quote doesn't apply to "$@"
> > only, but to all automatic variables. The proposed solution (i.e.
> > "Secondary Expansion" [2]) seems overly complex for this problem. I
> > think the solution in the patch is much simpler and works "just as
> > well" :)
> >
> > The other question is of course why do we need "THIS_FILE" at all? It
> > is used for various native logs in the class library (not in HotSpot)
> > which use the value of "THIS_FILE" to decorate their output with the
> > current file name. On the other hand, we already have the standard,
> > predefined "__FILE__" macro which could be used instead (and indeed,
> > if "THIS_FILE" isn't defined, the various logging routines fall back
> > to using "__FILE__").
> >
> > The only explanation I could come up for having "THIS_FILE" until now
> > is that "__FILE__" may contain the full path name of the compilation
> > unit while we only want the simple file name (without path) in the
> > log. However, in order to solve this "path" problem, we can use
> > simpler solutions.
> >
> > Some call sites (e.g.
> > "src/jdk.jdwp.agent/share/native/libjdwp/log_messages.h") already use
> > helper functions like "file_basename()" to cut off a potential path
> > component from "THIS_FILE". Other call sites (e.g.
> > "src/java.instrument/share/native/libinstrument/JPLISAssert.h" or
> > "src/jdk.jdwp.agent/share/native/libjdwp/error_messages.h") currently
> > simply use the value of "THIS_FILE" directly. But they could be easily
> > fixed by either using "file_basename()" there as well or even simpler,
> > wrapping "__FILE__" into another macro which calls "strrchr()" to do
> > the same work.
> >
> > So as a follow up to this change, I'd like to propose another change
> > which completely removes "THIS_FILE" and changes all users of
> > "THIS_FILE" to use "__FILE__" instead. This would also shorten our
> > compile command lines (which doesn't happen too often :) What do you
> > think?
> >
> > Thank you and best regards,
> > Volker
> >
> > [1] https://www.gnu.org/software/make/manual/html_node/Automatic-Variables.html
> > [2] https://www.gnu.org/software/make/manual/html_node/Secondary-Expansion.html#Secondary-Expansion

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