RFR: 8221836: Avoid recalculating String.hash when zero

Peter Levart peter.levart at gmail.com
Mon Apr 8 10:24:58 UTC 2019

I think the most benefit in this patch is the emptyString.hashCode() 
speedup. By holding a boolean flag in the String object itself, there is 
one less de-reference to be made on fast-path in case of empty string. 
Which shows in microbenchmark and would show even more if code iterated 
many different instances of empty strings that don't share the 
underlying array invoking .hashCode() on them. Which, I admit, is not a 
frequent case in practice, but hey, it is a speedup after all.

Regards, Peter

On 4/8/19 10:56 AM, Aleksey Shipilev wrote:
> On 4/8/19 10:41 AM, Claes Redestad wrote:
>> by adding a bit to String that is true iff String.hash has been calculated as being 0, we can get
>> rid of the corner case where such hash
>> codes are recalculated on every call.
>> Peter Levart came up with a elegant scheme for ensuring that we can keep
>> using non-volatile stores without explicit fencing and still reap the
>> benefits of this[1], and I've synced up the hotspot code that deals with
>> the String.hash value to mirror that logic.
>> Bug:    https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8221836
>> Webrev: http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~redestad/8221836/open.01/
>> Since there exists small padding gaps in the current object layout of
>> strings (on all VM bitness and compressed oops varieties), adding this
>> boolean does not add any extra footprint per String instance.
> Regardless, I think this change does not carry its weight. Introducing special paths for handling
> something as obscure as zero hash code, which then raises questions about correctness (I had hard
> time convincing myself that code is concurrency-safe), seems rather odd to me. It is a sane
> engineering tradeoff to make code more maintainable with accepting performance hit in 2^(-32) of cases.
> -Aleksey

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