[New-bugs-announce] [issue32591] Deprecate sys.set_coroutine_wrapper and replace it with more focused API(s)

Nathaniel Smith report at bugs.python.org
Thu Jan 18 02:09:05 EST 2018

New submission from Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com>:

sys.set_coroutine_wrapper is a problematic API. It was added to solve a specific problem: asyncio debug mode wanting to track where coroutine objects are created, so that when unawaited coroutines are GC'ed, the warning they print can include a traceback. But to do this, it adds a *very* generic hook that lets you hook into the coroutine creation code to replace all instances of a built-in type with an arbitrary new type, which is highly unusual. It's hard to use correctly (see bpo-30578, and bpo-24342 before it). It's hard to use without creating performance problems, since anything you do here tends to add overhead to every async function call, and in many cases also every async function frame suspend/resume cycle.

Fortunately, it's explicitly documented as provisional. (I think Yury intentionally excluded it from the stabilization of the rest of asyncio and async/await, because of the reasons above.) And the things we *actually* want to do here are very simple. The only known use cases are the one mentioned above (see asyncio.coroutines.CoroWrapper), and the one in bpo-30491. So after discussions with Yury, I'm proposing to migrate those both into the interpreter as directly usable, fast, built-in features that can be used individually or together, and deprecate sys.set_coroutine_wrapper.

See bpo-30491 for details on that use case; here I'll discuss my plan for replacing the "coroutine origin tracking" that asyncio debug mode does.

We add a new function sys.set_coroutine_origin_tracking(depth), and I guess sys.get_coroutine_origin_tracking() because why not. The depth is thread-local, and defaults to 0, which means that newly created coroutines don't capture any origin info.

When a coroutine is created, it will check the current origin_tracking depth, and capture that many frames of traceback information. Like the current asyncio debug code and unlike real tracebacks, we won't capture actual frame objects -- we'll just capture (filename, lineno, function) information, to avoid pinning objects in memory. This is a debug helper, so it should avoid changing semantics whenever possible.

Later, we can retrieve the captured information by accessing the new attribute coro.origin.

In addition, the code in CoroutineType.__del__ that currently emits a warning for unawaited coroutines, will be modified to check for whether 'self' has origin information, and print it if so, similar to the current asyncio debug wrapper.

Some particular points where I'd appreciate feedback:

Should we add an envvar to configure coroutine source tracking? What about an -X switch?

Should it be coro.origin or coro.cr_origin? On the one hand the cr_ prefixing is super annoying and I think we should probably get rid of it; on the other maybe we should keep it here so things stay consistent and then have a separate the debate about removing it in general.

Most important: what format should we use for storing the origin information? I can see three plausible approaches:

1. Call traceback.StackSummary.extract. This means re-entering the Python interpreter from inside the coroutine setup code, which makes me a little nervous. I guess there can't be any real re-entrancy issues here because if there were, set_coroutine_wrapper would already be hitting them. Can it cause problems during shutdown when the traceback module might have disappeared? (Not that anyone's likely to be instantiating coroutines at that point.) It also might be a bit slower than the other options below, but this isn't clear. OTOH, it has the benefit that coro.origin could be a full-fledged StackSummary with all its features, like traceback printing. Which honestly feels a little weird to me, because I know coroutine objects are built-in and StackSummary objects aren't, but it would certainly be convenient.

2. Capture (filename, lineno, function) directly in a packed struct, similar to how tracemalloc works. Then coro.origin can unpack this into a list of tuples or whatever. This is definitely very fast, and avoids re-entering Python. In practice we'd probably still end up needing to re-enter Python and using the traceback module when it came time to print a warning, though, because traceback printing is complicated and we don't want to reimplement it. Also, if the origin comes from a custom importer like zipimport, then we may not be able to look up the line information later, because that requires access to frame.f_globals["__loader__"].

3. Like (2), but insert a call to linecache.lazycache for each origin frame we capture. This would fix option (2)'s issue with printing source lines, but it means re-entering Python as well, so at this point maybe it'd just be simpler to go with option (1).

Given this analysis I guess I'm leaning towards just calling StackSummary.extract, but I don't feel like I fully understand the consequences of calling into a Python module like that so want to hear what others think.

components: Interpreter Core, asyncio
messages: 310226
nosy: asvetlov, giampaolo.rodola, njs, yselivanov
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: Deprecate sys.set_coroutine_wrapper and replace it with more focused API(s)
versions: Python 3.7, Python 3.8

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