On Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 20:19, Gregory P. Smith <greg@krypto.org> wrote:
On Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 9:07 AM, Thomas Wouters<thomas@python.org> wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 19:25, Gregory P. Smith <greg@krypto.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 4:28 PM, Thomas Wouters<thomas@python.org> wrote:
>> >
>> > So attached (and at http://codereview.appspot.com/96125/show ) is a
>> > preliminary fix, correcting the problem with os.fork(), os.forkpty() and
>> > os.fork1(). This doesn't expose a general API for C code to use, for two
>> > reasons: it's not easy, and I need this fix more than I need the API
>> > change
>> > :-) (I actually need this fix myself for Python 2.4, but it applies
>> > fairly
>> > cleanly.)
>> This looks good to me.
> Anyone else want to take a look at this before I check it in? I updated the
> patch (in Rietveld) to contain some documentation about the hazards of
> mixing fork and threads, which is the best we can do at the moment, at least
> without seriously overhauling the threading APIs (which, granted, is not
> that bad an idea, considering the mess they're in.) I've now thoroughly
> tested the patch, and for most platforms it's strictly better. On AIX it
> *may* behave differently (possibly 'incorrectly' for specific cases) if
> something other than os.fork() calls the C fork() and calls
> PyOS_AfterFork(), since on AIX it used to nuke the thread lock. *I* think
> the new behaviour (not nuking the lock) is the correct thing to do, but
> since most places that release the import lock don't bother to check if the
> lock was even held, the old behaviour may have been succesfully masking the
> bug on AIX systems.
> Perhaps for the backport to 2.6 (which I think is in order, and also in
> accordance with the guidelines) I should leave the AIX workaround in? Anyone
> think it should not be removed from 3.x/2.7?
>> Your idea of making this an API called a 'fork lock' or something
>> sounds good (though I think it needs a better name.  PyBeforeFork &
>> PyAfterFork?).  The subprocess module, for example, disables garbage
>> collection before forking and restores it afterwards to avoid
>> http://bugs.python.org/issue1336.  That type of thing could also be
>> done in such a function.
> Unfortunately it's rather hard to make those functions work correctly with
> the current API -- we can't provide functions you can just use as arguments
> to pthread_atfork because the global interpreter lock is not re-entrant and
> we have no way of testing whether the current thread holds the GIL. I also
> get the creepy-crawlies when I look at the various thread_* implementations
> and see the horribly unsafe things they do (and also, for instance, the
> PendingCall stuff in ceval.c :S) Unfortunately there's no good way to fix
> these things without breaking API compatibility, let alone ABI
> compatibility.

Take a look at http://code.google.com/p/python-atfork/ which I created
to address the general fork+threading with locks held causing
deadlocks issue with many standard library modules.  Currently it only
patches the logging module but I intend to support others.  I want to
get an atfork mechanism into 2.7/3.2 along with every lock in the
standard library making proper use of it.

See also http://bugs.python.org/issue6721

I make no attempt to deal with C-level locks, only those acquired from
python.  It doesn't use pthread_atfork but instead models its behavior
after that and wraps os.fork and os.forkpty so that they call the
registered atfork methods as appropriate.

Well, sure, the *Python code* side of the problem is fixable, thanks to Python being so awesome ;-P I'm strictly thinking of applications embedding Python (or even extending it and calling into code that doesn't consider Python.) Your python-atfork project looks like a terribly good idea, but it won't fix the embedding/extending issues (nor is it intended to, right?)

Thomas Wouters <thomas@python.org>

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