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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH] [RFC] aio/async: Add timed bottom-halves

From: Paolo Bonzini
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH] [RFC] aio/async: Add timed bottom-halves
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:43:22 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130625 Thunderbird/17.0.7

Il 16/07/2013 17:29, Alex Bligh ha scritto:
> Paolo,
> --On 16 July 2013 09:34:20 +0200 Paolo Bonzini <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>> You did.  But aio_wait() ignores the timeout.  It is only used by the
>>>> main loop.
>>> OK well that seems worth fixing in any case, as even without timed bh's
>>> that means no bh can be executed for an indeterminate time. I'll have
>>> a look at that.
>> No, BHs work because they do aio_notify().  Idle BHs can be skipped for
>> an indeterminate time, but that's fine because idle BHs are a hack that
>> we should not need at all.
> OK, so a bit more code reading later, I think I now understand.
> 1. non-idle bh's call aio_notify at schedule time, which will cause
>   any poll to exit immediately because at least one FD will be ready.
> 2. idle bh's do not do aio_notify() because we don't care whether
>   they get stuck in aio_poll and they are a hack [actually I think
>   we could do better here]
> 3. aio_poll calls aio_bh_poll. If this returns true, this indicates
>   at least one non-idle bh exists, which causes aio_poll not to
>   block.

No, this indicates that at least one scheduled non-idle bh exist*ed*,
which causes aio_poll not to block (because some progress has been done).

There could be non-idle BHs scheduled during aio_poll, but not visited
by aio_bh_poll.  These rely on aio_notify (it could be an idle BH who
scheduled this non-idle BH, so aio_bh_poll might return 0).

>   Question 1: it then calls aio_dispatch - if this itself
>   generates non-idle bh's, this would seem not to clear the blocking
>   flag. Does this rely on aio_notify?


>   Question 2: if we're already telling aio_poll not to block
>   by the presence of non-idle bh's as detected in aio_bh_poll,
>   why do we need to use aio_notify too? IE why do we have both
>   the blocking= logic AND the aio_notify logic?

See above (newly-scheduled BHs are always handled with aio_notify, the
blocking=false logic is for previously-scheduled BHs).

> 4. aio_poll then calls g_poll (POSIX) or WaitForMultipleObjects
>   (Windows). However, the timeout is either 0 or infinite.
>   Both functions take a milliseconds (yuck) timeout, but that
>   is not used.

I agree with the yuck. :)  But Linux has the nanoseconds-resolution
ppoll, too.

> So, the first thing I don't understand is why aio_poll needs the
> return value of aio_bh_poll at all. Firstly, after sampling it,
> it then causes aio_dispatch, and that can presumably set its own
> bottom half callbacks; if this happens 'int blocking' won't be
> cleared, and it will still enter g_poll with an infinite timeout.
> Secondly, there seems to be an entirely separate mechanism
> (aio_notify) in any case. If a non-idle bh has been scheduled,
> this will cause g_poll to exit immediately as a read will be
> ready. I believe this is cleared by the bh being used.

I hope the above

> The second thing I don't understand is why we aren't using
> the timeout on g_poll / WaitForMultipleObjects.

Because so far it wasn't needed (insert rant about idle BHs being a
hack).  This is a good occasion to use it.  But I wouldn't introduce a
new one-off concept (almost as much of a hack as idle BHs), I would
rather reuse as much code as possible from QEMUTimer/QEMUClock.  I must
admit I don't have a clear idea of how the API would look like.

> It would
> seem to be reasonably easy to make aio_poll call aio_ctx_prepare
> or something that does the same calculation. This would fix
> idle bh's to be more reliable (we know it's safe to call them
> within aio_poll anyway, it's just a question of whether
> we turn an infinite wait into a 10ms wait).

Idle BHs could be changed to timers as well, and then they would disappear.


> Perhaps these two are related.
> I /think/ fixing the second (and removing the aio_notify
> from qemu_bh_schedule_at) is sufficient provided it checks
> for scheduled bh's immediately prior to the poll. This assumes
> other threads cannot schedule bh's. This would seem to be less
> intrusive that a TimedEventNotifier approach which (as far as I
> can see) requires another thread.

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