[jmm-dev] The JSR-133 Cookbook and final fields

Paul E. McKenney paulmck at linux.vnet.ibm.com
Tue Nov 15 19:12:48 UTC 2016

For whatever it might be worth, we made a similar change in the Linux
kernel some time back.  The rcu_assign_pointer() macro used to contain
a store-store fence, but was upgraded to a store-release of the new
pointer value about 3 years ago in the 3.15 release.

							Thanx, Paul

On Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 10:44:01AM -0800, Hans Boehm wrote:
> I think this is actually OK for final fields, since no other thread can
> write them, and hence reads in the constructor can't really see a write by
> another thread.
> I continue to believe that we should not generalize the final field
> behavior to non-final fields, at least not without generalizing the
> constructor barrier to also include LoadStore. Which I think means we're
> kind of in agreement. If we did so, and programmers took advantage of that,
> it would also mean that constructor() { non_final_field = 0; assert
> non_final_field == 0; } could reasonably fail, which seems bad.
> Generalizing final field memory ordering to non-final fields also has
> optimization consequences on the reader side that we're still struggling
> with for C++.
> For example, on any flavor of ARM or Power, in
> tmp = x;
> ...
> tmp2 = y;
> if (tmp == tmp2) {
>     tmp3 = tmp2.a;
> }
> the last assignment can no longer be replaced by tmp3 = tmp.a, because that
> wouldn't preserve ordering between the load of y and that of a. (I suspect
> that such a replacement can be beneficial if the branch can be correctly
> predicted, since tmp may be available earlier.)
> Presumably similar rules already apply to final field optimization.  I have
> no idea whether existing Java compilers actually make such distinctions.
> On Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 5:53 AM, Andrew Haley <aph at redhat.com> wrote:
> > It's been pointed out to me that my example doesn't have a final
> > field!  It would perhaps have been better not to provide an example,
> > so rather than muddy the water any further I'll let the question
> > stand.
> >
> > Andrew.
> >

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