RFR 9: 8077350 Process API Updates Implementation Review

Roger Riggs Roger.Riggs at Oracle.com
Fri Apr 17 16:53:03 UTC 2015

Hi Peter,

On 4/17/2015 4:05 AM, Peter Levart wrote:
> Hi Roger,
> Retrieving and caching the process start time as soon as ProcessHandle 
> is instantiated might be a good idea. "destroy" native code would then 
> use pid *and* start time to check the identity of the process before 
> killing it.
Yes, though it does raise a question about how to specify PH.equals().  
Either the start time is explicitly
mentioned (and is repeatable and testable) or it is vague and refers to 
some implementation
specific value that uniquely identifies the process; and is less testable.
> At least on Linux (/proc/<pid>/stat) and Solaris (/proc/<pid>/status) 
> it is not necessary to open those special files and read them. Just 
> doing stat() on them and using the st_mtime will get you the process 
> start time. I see AIX shares native code with Linux (unix), so perhaps 
> AIX does the same. Mac OSX and Windows have special calls...
That is less expensive.  But opening /proc/<pid>/stat is necessary for 
allChildren to get
and filter on the parent and can provide the starttime as well.
stat would be useful for allProcesses which does not need the parent.
> In case OS does not allow retrieving the start time (not owner or 
> similar), it should be cached as some "undefined" value and treated 
> the same when destroying. If while obtaining the ProcessHandle *and* 
> while destroying the process, the start time of the process with a 
> particular pid is "undefined" then there are two options:
> 1 - don't kill the process
> 2 - kill the process
> They might actually be no different as the reason of not being able to 
> retrieve the start time (not owner) might prevent the process from 
> being killed too, so option 2 could be used to allow killing on any 
> hypothetical platforms that don't support retrieving start time and it 
> is no worse than current implementation anyway.
Destroy is a best-effort method;  it is not guaranteed to result in 
termination, though
the docs are a bit weak on this point.

I'd go for option 2, anyone using the API is looking for results on 
processes they
already know something about (mostly), so there's no reason to be 
conservative about.  If the caller is trying to be more conservative, 
they can maintain
their own extra information about the processes they are managing.

> What do you think?
I'd like to pick this up as a separate change, and get the current one 
in first.


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