URL:
  <http://gna.org/bugs/?18346>

                 Summary: Start position allocation not deterministic
                 Project: Freeciv
            Submitted by: jtn
            Submitted on: Thu Jul 14 00:41:04 2011
                Category: general
                Severity: 3 - Normal
                Priority: 5 - Normal
                  Status: None
             Assigned to: None
        Originator Email: 
             Open/Closed: Open
                 Release: S2_3 r19940
         Discussion Lock: Any
        Operating System: None
         Planned Release: 

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Details:

Discovered during autogame testing of bug #17962:

For autogames that should have been identical, I was seeing the assignment of
nations to start positions differ. The set of nations and leaders was the
same, as was the set of start positions on the map, it was just the assignment
of one to the other that was perturbed (which went on to change the whole
course of the game).

I think the problem lies in init_new_game(). This pulls start positions out
of a hash (map.startpos_table) into several lists
(flexible_list/targeted_list), which are then shuffled to get the mappings.

The shuffling is deterministic, as you'd expect from fc_rand(). However, I
don't think the order in which map positions are pulled out of the hash is.
The hash is a genhash which I think uses genhash_ptr_val_func() as its
comparison function, which uses pointer comparisons. This relies on things
like heap allocation being deterministic, which I don't think we can rely on.

However, in practice, on my system, the ordering seems _quite_ deterministic,
not completely random.

Iterating the hash in some deterministic order, or sorting the lists before
shuffling, would solve this, I think.

(Wonder how many other dependencies on pointer order we have...)




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