Good analysis.  I guess the question is what patch would we put into a
subrelease?  If you go for a new state code, rather than a separate
boolean, does it reduce the size of the patch?


Tom Lane wrote:
> I wrote:
> > OK, I think I see it.  The problem is that the code in slru.c is careful
> > about not modifying state when it doesn't hold the proper lock, but not
> > so careful about not *inspecting* state without the proper lock.
> > ...
> > I'm still thinking about how to make a real fix without introducing
> > another lock/unlock cycle --- we can do that if we have to, but I think
> > maybe it's possible to fix it without.
> Attached is a proposed patch to fix up slru.c so that it's not playing
> any games by either reading or writing shared state without holding
> the ControlLock for the SLRU set.
> The main problem with the existing code, as I now see it, was a poor
> choice of representation of page state: we had states CLEAN, DIRTY, and
> WRITE_IN_PROGRESS, which meant that re-dirtying a page while a write was
> in progress required setting the state back to DIRTY, which hid the fact
> that indeed a write was in progress.  So the I/O code was designed to
> cope with not knowing whether another write was already in progress.  We
> can make it a whole lot cleaner by changing the state representation so
> that we can tell the difference --- then, we can know before releasing
> the ControlLock whether we need to write the page or just wait for
> someone else to finish writing it.  And that means we can do all the
> state-manipulation before releasing the lock.
> I could have just added an additional state WRITE_IN_PROGRESS_REDIRTIED,
> or some such, but it seemed notationally cleaner to create a separate
> "page_dirty" boolean, and reduce the number of states to four (empty,
> read-in-progress, valid, write-in-progress).  This lets outside code
> such as clog.c just set "page_dirty = true" rather than doing a complex
> bit of logic to change the state value properly.
> The patch is a bit bulky because of the representation change, but the
> key changes are localized in SimpleLruReadPage and SimpleLruWritePage.
> I think this code is a whole lot cleaner than it was before, but it's
> a bit of a large change to be making so late in the 8.1 cycle (not to
> mention that we really ought to back-patch similar changes all the way
> back, because the bug exists as far back as 7.2).  I am going to take
> another look to see if there is a less invasive change that will fix
> the problem at some performance cost; if so, we might want to do it that
> way in 8.1 and back branches.
> Any comments on the patch, or thoughts on how to proceed?
>                       regards, tom lane

Content-Description: slru-race-1.patch

[ Type application/octet-stream treated as attachment, skipping... ]

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