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From Vladimir Sitnikov <>
Subject Re: Why do Functions that only have values as instance variable synchronize execute ?
Date Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:34:42 GMT
>> 2) Just synchronization on the same lock is not sufficient (see
>> "synchronizes-with" in the JMM)
>I don't follow that.

Here's example:
Thread 1:
  // Globals.state is a static non-volatile field
  Globals.state = new AtomicInteger(42); // 42 is stored in a volatile
field, you can check that in java sources

Thread 2:

Thread 2 _can_ print 0 and it would be _acceptable_ by JMM (including JMM8).
This is an example that shows that "not every volatile read synchronizes
with volatile write".

There's a basic explanation: if a reader happened to "perform
synchronization" earlier than writer, then no happens-before appears.
More advanced one: to make things safe, you need happens-before.
"synchronization on the lock" does not induce happens before. "unlock of a
monitor happens-before _subsequent_ lock of the same monitor".

This is why I say: "synchronization in execute" does nothing. There is no
way this synchronization ensures that this method would be executed after
the init method.

See more detailed explanation in [1]

> (* apart from final, but I did write "mutable fields", which excludes

Even mutable field can be safely published if it is wrapped in a object
with a final field.
For instance, java.lang.String is always safe, however it contains char[]
that is both mutable and unsafe.

Even if you store java.lang.String to a mutable field, it will still be
completely safe.
Nothing is specific to String, you can do the same with your own classes
and still get safe results (see [2])

>However these are external (*) to the class; changes to the app design
>may invalidate any such assumptions.

Very true, however you must state threading contract in this kind of
JMeter is multithreaded by its nature, thus I would expect "guidelines for
writing a custom function" to be accompanied by a JMM semantics that is
ensured by JMeter engine.
For instance, "execute function might be called from multiple
threads simultaneously, however init is guaranteed to happens-before any
call to execute".
Don't you mean that threading semantics of JMeter can change at any point
in time?

> OK, but as already written, that is something over which the class has no

I did review some of the threading code in JMeter and I did notice some
code that already relied on the discussed JMeterThread.start happens-before.

I do think it is worth to note in some developer's guide.

However, I find it very natural that "JMeterThread state should not be
altered outside of the thread".
So any kind of "let's start the thread, then update some of its variables"
looks like a creepy code. Even if that is not yet forbidden explicitly in
the developer's guide.

Vladimir Sitnikov

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