Primitive Queue<any T> considerations

Vitaly Davidovich vitalyd at
Thu Nov 19 00:49:39 UTC 2015

By the way, thinking about this 1000 byte struct case, it may occur with
network protocol type of work.  One may want to represent a message as some
number of type safe structs embedded in an envelope struct, with total size
near there.

sent from my phone
On Nov 18, 2015 7:35 PM, "Vitaly Davidovich" <vitalyd at> wrote:

> Why do medium sized structs require "buffering" and indirection? Do you
> mean they're stored on the stack instead of scalarized in registers? If so,
> sure, no problem.
> As for the 1000 byte struct, I don't care if "moving" it via heap is
> faster, I don't want GC pressure :).  If I do this dance enough times and a
> GC comes along, I may lose any gains and then some that I had via faster
> movement/access earlier.
> As for mutable stack storage (e.g. iterators perfect example), I think
> it's very important to have some story here.  I've long been advocating for
> allowing mutable structs, but you'd need to allow passing them by reference
> as well then.  CLR does this, so it's not some new ground entirely.
> However, I'd be happy with whatever other mechanics as long as the use case
> is met.
> Thanks
> sent from my phone
> On Nov 18, 2015 7:20 PM, "John Rose" <john.r.rose at> wrote:
>> On Nov 18, 2015, at 3:47 PM, Vitaly Davidovich <vitalyd at> wrote:
>> By "touching the heap" I was referring to stack allocated value types
>> getting boxed and roundtripped via the heap, not them being embedded in a
>> heap object.
>> Right; you are saying that copies through stack and local slots should
>> not increase GC load.
>> I have a ton of use cases where I'd like to do data encapsulation
>> on-stack and have guarantees that storage is on stack; if JIT scalarizes
>> across registers, I view that as an optimization.
>> In terms of the S/M/L size distinction:  That optimization will happen
>> mostly for "small" values, not so much for "medium", and not for "large".
>> Most important is no heap allocation occurs.  If I give the JVM a 1000
>> byte struct, I expect it to grow the stack by that amount and copy it; if
>> that overflows, send me a StackOverflowError, no problem.
>> Just to be clear:  We are not designing the value type system to support
>> 1000 byte structs.  If we get good enough results, those guys will
>> benefit,
>> but IMO it won't be a showstopper if 1000 byte structs are kind of slow
>> when stored in values.  The deep reason for this is that a 1-word or
>> 10-word value is much flatter than the corresponding object, but a
>> 1000 byte value is slightly flatter (1-6%) than the corresponding object.
>> By that I mean the memory overhead due to the 12-byte header,
>> and the cache traffic overhead due to having to do an extra load
>> to get the pointer, are incrementally small compared to the 1000 bytes.
>> Mind you, I (and I'm sure others) have no plans of 1000 byte structs,
>> (Thank you!)
>> but I can easily see some, not many, that are in the 64-128 byte range.
>> I'd like this to work just like if I had written a method accepting 8-16
>> individual long arguments.
>> I agree.  Those are the "medium" size range.  To make another
>> useful distinction:  Medium values might be "buffered" via an
>> indirection somewhere (probably thread-local), but will not usually
>> be "boxed" on the heap where the GC would have to delete them.
>> The overarching theme here is I'd like to use the stack a lot more, for
>> ephemeral/temp storage, and have that guaranteed rather than hope and pray
>> escape analysis does its thing.  I don't want TLAB or some other thread
>> local heap segment, I want the stack to be my TLAB :).
>> I agree with this theme, but watch out:  If you want *mutable* ephemeral
>> storage, and if you want to write *methods* which manipulate parts of
>> this storage inside an abstraction, you will need at a small GC-able
>> object per abstraction instance, even if most of the state is "auto"
>> storage class.
>> And, you will need something new, the ability to refer to the storage
>> block (on stack) safely from methods.  Fortunately, we are building
>> such things (see discussions on the stack walk API, which reads
>> pointers into the thread, or java.nicl.Scope in Panama which will
>> wrap "auto" storage class variables).
>> This desire to have mutable on-stack abstractions is sharply at odds
>> with the desire to have sharable, immutable on-heap abstractions.
>> It is the root (or one of the roots) of the long-running argument about
>> whether value fields should be mutable.  The only simple, tractable
>> answer is "no", which means we need to find workarounds for
>> folks that want on-stack iterators, etc.
>> — John

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