[Python-ideas] Protecting finally clauses of interruptions

Andrew Svetlov andrew.svetlov at gmail.com
Tue Apr 3 18:11:36 CEST 2012

Instead of lookup from nested frame it's possible to propagate flag
down to called frames.

On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 5:09 PM, Yury Selivanov <yselivanov.ml at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2012-04-03, at 3:16 AM, Paul Colomiets wrote:
>> 1. For yield-based coroutines you must inspect stack
>> anyway, since interpreter doesn't have a stack, you
>> build it yourself (although, I don't know how `yield from`
>> changes that)
>> 2. For greenlet based coroutines it is unclear what
>> the stack is. For example:
>> def f1():
>>    try:
>>        pass
>>    finally:
>>        g1.switch()
>> def f2():
>>    sleep(1.0)
>> g1 = greenlet(f1)
>> g2 = greenlet(f2)
>> g1.switch()
>> Is it safe to interrupt g2 while it's in `sleep`? (If you wonder
>> how I fix this problem with f_in_finally stack, it's easy. I
>> usually switch to a coroutine from trampoline, so this is
>> a boundary of the stack which should be checked for
>> f_in_finally).
> Wait.  So you're tracing the whole coroutine execution stack to
> check if the current coroutine was called in a finally block of
> some other coroutine?  For handling timeouts I don't think that
> is necessary (maybe there are other use cases?)
> In the example below you actually have to interrupt g2:
> def g1():
>   try:
>     ...
>   finally:
>     g2().with_timeout(0.1)
> def g2():
>   sleep(2)
> You shouldn't guarantee that the *whole* chain of functions/
> coroutines/etc will be safe in their finally statements, you just
> need to protect the top coroutines in the timeouts queue.
> Hence, in the above example, if you run g1() with a timeout, the
> trampoline should ensure that it won't interrupt it while it is
> in its finally block.  But it can interrupt g2() in any context
> at any point of its execution.  And if g2() gets interrupted,
> g1()'s finally statement will be broken, yes.  But that's the
> responsibility of the developer to ensure that the code in
> 'finally' handles exceptions within it correctly.
> That's just my approach to handle timeouts, I'm not advocating
> it to be the very right one.
> Are there any other use-cases when you have to inspect the
> execution stack?  Because if there is no, 'interrupt()' method
> is sufficient and implementable, as both generators and
> greenlets are well aware about the code frames they holding.
>> 3. For threads it was discussed several times and rejected.
>> This proposal may make thread interruptions slightly safer,
>> but I'm not sure it's enough to convince people.
> That's why I'm advocating for a PEP.  Thread interruption isn't
> a safe feature in the .NET CLR either.  You may break things with
> it there too.  And it doesn't protect the chain of functions
> calling each other from their 'finally' statements, it just
> protects the top frame.  The 'abort' and 'interrupt' methods
> aren't advertised to be used in .NET, use them at your own risk.
> So I don't think that we can, or should ensure 100% safety when
> interrupting a thread.  And that's why I think it is worth to
> propose a mechanism that will work for many concurrency
> primitives.
>> So I still propose add a frame flag, which doesn't break
>> anything, and gives us experiment with interruptions
>> without putting some experimental code into the core.
> There are cons and pros in your solution.
> Pros
> ----
> - can be used right away in coroutine libraries.
> - somewhat simple and small CPython patch.
> Cons
> ----
> - you have to work with frames almost throughout the execution
> of the program.  In PyPy you simply will have the JIT disabled.
> And I'm not sure how frame access works in Jython and IronPython
> from the performance point of view.
> - no mechanism for interrupting a running thread.  In almost any
> coroutine library you will have a thread pool, and sometimes you
> need a way to interrupt workers.  So it's not enough even for
> coroutines.
> -
> Yury
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Andrew Svetlov

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