[Pharo-dev] Issue 20309 - Startup should run always in a fresh process

Guillermo Polito guillermopolito at gmail.com
Tue Aug 15 19:46:31 EDT 2017

On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 3:25 PM, Ben Coman <btc at openinworld.com> wrote:

> In case any of the shutdown/startup scripts use a delay, now or in the
> future,
> I'd first try at    highestPriority-1 to avoid influence on the
> DelayScheduler.
> but then Eliot's suggestion to valueUnpreemptively may avoid that anyway.

Why should a shutdown/startup use a delay? startup and shutdown should be
fast and not be blocked... If there is a delay on client code, it should
block a client thread, not a system thread...

Moreover, I see a series of issues in having the delay process running in
higher priority than the startup. If I'm wrong, please correct me because
otherwise that means there is something I'm not getting.

First, today the Delay scheduling process is being terminated on shutdown
and being re-initialized on startup. This means that even if a
shutdown/startup action tries to use a delay that will fail/block

Second, what happens with race conditions between the startup and the delay
process? If the shutdown is in the middle of terminating the delay process
and the delay process gets suddenly activated?

"Stop the timer event loop"

timerEventLoop ifNotNil: [ timerEventLoop terminate ].
timerEventLoop := nil.

Maybe before terminating the timerEventLoop we need to suspend it? That
will at least atomically (primitive) remove the process from the ready list
and avoid it from being activated again, no?

In any case, I see no good in letting a delay work on startup. That is far
too low level and the system would be in a far too unstable state to run
any code other than the startup itself.

> btw, what happens if an error occurs inside valueUnpreemptively?
> Does the normal priority debugger still get to run?
> cheers -ben
> On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 6:42 PM, Guillermo Polito <
> guillermopolito at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I'm proposing a kind-of critical change that I believe is very good for
>> the health of the system: I want that the startup of the system runs in
>> maximum priority and becomes non-interruptable.
>> Right now, when you save your image, the shutdown and startup are run in
>> the same priority than the process that triggered the save (usually the ui
>> or the command line, priority 40). This can cause lots of problems and race
>> conditions: processes with higher priorities can interrupt the
>> shutdown/startup and try to do something while the system is unstable. As a
>> side effect also, when you use extensively the command line, you start
>> stacking startup contexts from old sessions:
>> ...
>> session 3 ctxt 4 <- This guy makes a save and a new session starts
>> session 3 ctxt 3
>> session 3 ctxt 2
>> session 3 ctxt 1
>> session 2 ctxt 4 <- This guy makes a save and a new session starts
>> session 2 ctxt 3
>> session 2 ctxt 2
>> session 2 ctxt 1
>> session 1 ctxt 4 <- This guy makes a save and a new session starts
>> session 1 ctxt 3
>> session 1 ctxt 2
>> session 1 ctxt 1
>> Old contexts are never collected, and the objects they referenced neither.
>> To fix these two problems I propose to do every image save/session start
>> in a new process in maximum priority. That way, other process should not be
>> able to interrupt the startup process. Moreover, every session
>> shutdown/startup should happen in a new clean process, to avoid the session
>> stacking.
>> For normal users, this should have no side effect at all. This change
>> will have a good impact on people working on the debugger and the stack
>> such as fueling-out the stack because they will have a cleaner stack.
>> There is however a side-effect/design point to consider: startup actions
>> should be quick to run. If a startup action requires to run a long-running
>> action such as starting a server or managing a command line action, that
>> should run in a separate process with lower priority (usually
>> userPriority). In other words, the startup action should create a new
>> process managing its action.
>> If you want to review (and I'd be glad)
>> Pull request: https://github.com/pharo-project/pharo/pull/198
>> Fogbugz issue: https://pharo.fogbugz.com/f/cases/20309
>> Current validation going on: https://ci.inria.fr/pharo-ci-j
>> enkins2/job/Test%20pending%20pull%20request%20and%20branch%
>> 20Pipeline/view/change-requests/job/PR-198/
>> Guille
>> --
>> Guille Polito
>> Research Engineer
>> French National Center for Scientific Research - *http://www.cnrs.fr*
>> <http://www.cnrs.fr>
>> *Web:* *http://guillep.github.io* <http://guillep.github.io>
>> *Phone: *+33 06 52 70 66 13 <+33%206%2052%2070%2066%2013>


Guille Polito

Research Engineer

French National Center for Scientific Research - *http://www.cnrs.fr*

*Web:* *http://guillep.github.io* <http://guillep.github.io>

*Phone: *+33 06 52 70 66 13
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