RFR JDK-8232222: Set state to 'linked' when an archived class is restored at runtime

David Holmes david.holmes at oracle.com
Tue Jun 9 06:26:09 UTC 2020

Hi Jiangli,

 >    http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~jiangli/8232222/webrev.03/

I'm having trouble keeping track of all the issues, so let me walk 
through the changes as I see them:

- InstanceKlass::restore_unshareable_info

For boot loader classes, when no verification is enabled, we mark the 
class as linked immediately. By doing this in restore_unshareable_info 
there are no races (as the class is not exposed to anyone yet) and it 
allows later checks for is_linked to be by-passed (under the assumption 
that the class and its supertypes truly are in a state that appears 
linked). However, this doesn't generate the JVM TI class prepare event, 
and we can't do it here as that would introduce a number of potential 
issues with JVM TI.

I see in the bug report some metrics from HelloWorld, but really this 
needs to be backed up by a lot more performance measurements to 
establish this is actually a worthwhile optimisation.

- SystemDictionary::define_instance_class

This is where we catch up with the JVM TI requirements and immediately 
after posting the class load event we post the class prepare event.

As we have discussed, this earlier posting of the event is observable to 
a JVMTI agent and although permitted by the specification it is a change 
in behaviour that might impact existing agents.

Ioi has raised an issue about there being a race here with the potential 
for the event being delivered multiple times. I agree this code is not 

1718   if (k->is_shared() && k->is_linked()) {

You only want to fire the event for exactly those classes that you 
pre-linked, so at a minimum this has to be restricted to boot classes 
only. Even then as Ioi points out once the class is exported to the 
SystemDictionary and visibly seen to be loaded, then other threads may 
race to link it and so have already posted the class prepare event. In 
normal linking this race is avoided by the use of the init_lock to check 
the linked state, do the linking and issue the class prepare event, 
atomically. But your approach cannot do this as it stands, you would 
need to add an additional flag to track whether the prepare event had 
already be issued.


So the change as it stands is incomplete, and introduces a behavioural 
change to JVM TI, and the benefits of it have not been clearly established.

The JBS issue states this is a first step towards pre-initialization and 
other optimisations, and it is certainly a pre-requisite to pre-link 
before you can pre-initialize, but I don't think pulling out pre-linking 
as a separate optimisation is really a worthwhile first step. I have 
grave reservations about the ability to pre-initialize in general and 
those issues have to be fleshed out in a project like Leyden. Further, 
as Coleen points out this pre-linking optimisation is incompatible with 
proposed vtable changes. Additionally, this seems it will be 
incompatible with changes proposed in Valhalla, as additional link-time 
actions will be needed that can't be done at the time of 

Bottom line for me is that I just don't think this change is worth 
pursuing as a stand-alone optimisation at this time. Sorry.


On 5/06/2020 8:14 am, Jiangli Zhou wrote:
> Hi David,
> On Wed, Jun 3, 2020 at 9:59 PM David Holmes <david.holmes at oracle.com> wrote:
>> Ioi pointed out that my proposal was incomplete and that it would need
>> to be more like:
>> if (is_shared() &&
>>       JvmtiExport::should_post_class_prepare() &&
>>       !BytecodeVerificationLocal &&
>>       loader_data->is_the_null_class_loader_data()) {
>>       Handle h_init_lock(THREAD, init_lock());
>>       ObjectLocker ol(h_init_lock, THREAD, h_init_lock() != NULL);
>>       set_init_state(linked);
>>       >>> call JVMTI
>>       return true;
>>     }
>> This alleviates any concerns about behavioural changes to JVM TI, and
>> also allows JVM TI enabled code to partially benefit from the
>> pre-linking optimisation.
>> Otherwise I agree with Ioi that any behaviour change to JVM TI needs to
>> be justified by significant performance gains.
> Thanks a lot for the input and suggestion! Locking the init_lock for
> the JVMTI ClassPrepre event here sounds ok to me. The ClassDefine is
> normally posted before the ClassPrepare. That's why the change was
> made in systemDictionary.cpp instead of within
> InstanceKlass::restore_unshareable_info() function, to keep the same
> events ordering for any given class. I added the 'init_lock' locking
> code for post_class_prepare(), and kept the code in
> systemDictionary.cpp in webreve.03 below.  Not changing the JVMTI
> events ordering feels safer to me. Would the following be ok to
> everyone?
>    http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~jiangli/8232222/webrev.03/
> I also changed the InstanceKlass::restore_unshareable_info() to set
> _init_state via set_init_state API as you suggested. We can get away
> without locking the init_lock for setting the flag itself.
> Best regards,
> Jiangli
>> David
>> -----
>> On 4/06/2020 8:42 am, David Holmes wrote:
>>> Correction ...
>>> On 3/06/2020 5:19 pm, David Holmes wrote:
>>>> On 3/06/2020 3:44 pm, Ioi Lam wrote:
>>>>> On 6/2/20 10:16 PM, David Holmes wrote:
>>>>>> Hi Ioi,
>>>>>> On 3/06/2020 2:55 pm, Ioi Lam wrote:
>>>>>>> On 5/27/20 11:13 PM, David Holmes wrote:
>>>>>>>> Hi Jiangli,
>>>>>>>> On 28/05/2020 11:35 am, Ioi Lam wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> I was going to take the suggestion, but realized that it would add
>>>>>>>>>> unnecessary complications for archived boot classes with class
>>>>>>>>>> pre-initialization support. Some agents may set
>>>>>>>>>> JvmtiExport::should_post_class_prepare(). It's worthwhile to
>>>>>>>>>> support
>>>>>>>>>> class pre-init uniformly for archived boot classes with
>>>>>>>>>> JvmtiExport::should_post_class_prepare() enabled or disabled.
>>>>>>>>> This would introduce behavioral changes when JVMTI is enabled:
>>>>>>>>> + The order of JvmtiExport::post_class_prepare is different than
>>>>>>>>> before
>>>>>>>>> + JvmtiExport::post_class_prepare may be called for a class that
>>>>>>>>> was not called before (if the class is never linked during run time)
>>>>>>>>> + JvmtiExport::post_class_prepare was called inside the
>>>>>>>>> init_lock, now it's called outside of the init_lock
>>>>>>>> I have to say I share Ioi's concerns here. This change will impact
>>>>>>>> JVM TI agents in a way we can't be sure of. From a specification
>>>>>>>> perspective I think we are fine as linking can be lazy or eager,
>>>>>>>> so there's no implied order either. But this would be a
>>>>>>>> behavioural change that will be observable by agents. (I'm less
>>>>>>>> concerned about the init_lock situation as it seems potentially
>>>>>>>> buggy to me to call out to an agent with the init_lock held in the
>>>>>>>> first place! I find it hard to imagine an agent only working
>>>>>>>> correctly if the init_lock is held.)
>>>>>>> David,
>>>>>>> The init_lock has a serializing effect. The callback for a subclass
>>>>>>> will not be executed until the callback for its super class has
>>>>>>> been finished.
>>>>>> Sorry I don't see that is the case. The init_lock for the subclass
>>>>>> is distinct from the init_lock of the superclass, and linking of
>>>>>> subclasses and superclasses is independent.
>>>>> In InstanceKlass::link_class_impl, you first link all of your super
>>>>> classes.
>>>>> If another thread is already linking your super class, you will block
>>>>> on that superclass's init_lock.
>>>> The point is that there is already a race in terms of the execution of
>>>> the two callbacks. So while this change can certainly produce a
>>>> different result to what would previously be seen, such a result is
>>>> already possible in the general case.
>>>>> Of course, I may be wrong and my analysis may be bogus. But I hope
>>>>> you can appreciate that this is not going to be a trivial change to
>>>>> analyze.
>>>> Yes I agree. While in general ordering of the class_prepare callbacks
>>>> is not guaranteed for independent classes, if a given application
>>>> explicitly loads and links classes in a known order then it can
>>>> (reasonably) expect its callbacks to execute in that order. If this
>>>> change means classes will now be linked in an order independent of
>>>> what the normal runtime order would be then that could be a problem
>>>> for existing agents.
>>>> So where does this leave us? The change is within spec, but could
>>>> trigger changes in agent behaviour that we can't really evaluate
>>>> a-priori. So as you say we should have a fairly good reason for doing
>>>> this. I can easily envisage that pre-linking when no callbacks are
>>>> enabled would be a performance boost. But with callbacks enabled and
>>>> consuming CPU cycles any benefit from pre-linking could be lost in the
>>>> noise.
>>>> What if we did as Ioi suggested and only set the class as linked in
>>>> restore_unshareable_info if !JvmtiExport::should_post_class_prepare();
>>>> and in addition in InstanceKlass::link_class_imp we added an
>>>> additional check at the start:
>>>> // Pre-linking at load time may have been disabled for shared classes,
>>>> // but we may be able to do it now.
>>>> if (JvmtiExport::should_post_class_prepare() &&
>>>>       !BytecodeVerificationLocal &&
>>>>       loader_data->is_the_null_class_loader_data()) {
>>>>     _init_state = linked;
>>>> }
>>> There should obviously be a check for is_shared() in there as well.
>>> David
>>> -----
>>>> ?
>>>> That avoids the problem of changing the JVM TI callback behaviour, but
>>>> also shortens the link time path when the callbacks are enabled.
>>>> Hope I got that right. :)
>>>> David
>>>> -----
>>>>> Thanks
>>>>> - Ioi
>>>>>> David
>>>>>> -----
>>>>>>> With the proposed patch, the callback for both the super class and
>>>>>>> subclass can proceed in parallel. So if an agent performs class
>>>>>>> hierarchy analysis, for example, it may need to perform extra
>>>>>>> synchronization.
>>>>>>> This is just one example that I can think of. I am sure there are
>>>>>>> other issues that we have not thought about.
>>>>>>> The fact is we are dealing with arbitrary code in the callbacks,
>>>>>>> and we are changing the conditions of how they are called. The
>>>>>>> calls happen inside very delicate code (class loading, system
>>>>>>> dictionary). I am reluctant to do the due diligence, which is
>>>>>>> substantial, of verifying that this is a safe change, unless we
>>>>>>> have a really compelling reason to do so.
>>>>>>> Thanks
>>>>>>> - Ioi

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