On Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM, Kohei KaiGai <kai...@kaigai.gr.jp> wrote:
> I briefly checked these patches. Let me add some comments.


> * terminate-worker-v1.patch
> TerminateBackgroundWorker() turns on slot->terminate flag under
> LW_SHARED lock. Is it reasonable because all the possible caller
> is the background worker process itself, isn't it?

Hmm.  It's probably harmless the way it is, just because if two
processes do that at the same time, it's not going to change the
outcome.  But it might be better to use LW_EXCLUSIVE just to make it
easy to reason about the logic.  I think I cut-and-pasted without
thinking carefully about that.

> * ephemeral-precious-v1.patch
> AtEOXact_BackgroundWorker() is located around other AtEOXact_*
> routines. Doesn't it makes resource management complicated?
> In case when main process goes into error handler but worker
> process is still running in health, it may continue to calculate
> something and put its results on shared memory segment, even
> though main process suggest postmaster to kill it.

Since I wrote this patch set, I've been thinking a lot more about
error recovery.  Obviously, one of the big problems as we think about
parallel query is that you've now got multiple backends floating
around, and if the transaction aborts (in any backend), the other
backends don't automatically know that; they need some way to know
that they, too, short abort processing.  There are a lot of details to
get right here, and the time I've spent on it so far convinces me that
the problem is anything but easy.

Having said that, I'm not too concerned about the particular issue
that you raise here.  The resources that need to be cleaned up during
transaction abort are backend-private resources.  If, for example, the
user backend detaches a dynamic shared memory segment that is being
used for a parallel computation, they're not actually *destroying* the
segment; they are just detaching it *from their address space*.  The
last process to detach it will also destroy it.  So the ordering in
which the various processes detach it doesn't matter much.

One of the things I do this is necessary is a set of on_dsm_detach
callbacks that work pretty much the way that on_shmem_exit callbacks
work today.  Just as we can't detach from the main shared memory
segment without releasing locks and buffer pins and lwlocks and our
PGXACT, we can't release from a dynamic shared memory segment without
performing any similar cleanup that is needed.  I'm currently working
on a patch for that.

> All the ResourceOwnerRelease() callbacks are located prior to
> AtEOXact_BackgroundWorker(), it is hard to release resources
> being in use by background worker, because they are healthy
> running until it receives termination signal, but sent later.
> In addition, it makes implementation complicated if we need to
> design background workers to release resources if and when it
> is terminated. I don't think it is a good coding style, if we need
> to release resources in different location depending on context.

Which specific resources are you concerned about?

> So, I'd like to propose to add a new invocation point of
> ResourceOwnerRelease() after all AtEOXact_* jobs, with
> new label something like RESOURCE_RELEASE_FINAL.
> In addition, AtEOXact_BackgroundWorker() does not synchronize
> termination of background worker processes being killed.
> Of course it depends on situation, I think it is good idea to wait
> for completion of worker processes to be terminated, to ensure
> resource to be released is backed to the main process if above
> ResourceOwnerRelease() do the job.

Again, which resources are we talking about here?  I tend to think
it's an essential property of the system that we *shouldn't* have to
care about the order in which processes are terminated.  First, that
will be difficult to control; if an ERROR or FATAL condition has
occurred and we need to terminate, then there are real limits to what
guarantees we can provide after that point.  Second, it's also
*expensive*.  The point of parallelism is to make things faster; any
steps we add that involve waiting for other processes to do things
will eat away at the available gains.  For a query that'll run for an
hour that hardly matters, but for short queries it's important to
avoid unnecessary overhead.

Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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