Re: current_time in main loop

  I haven't been actively following this thread, but wanted to point
out a bug that I reported a few weeks ago in a similar vein, at:

, in which the timer code gets confused when a machine goes to sleep,
and the delay between two function calls could be several days.  I
just wanted to make sure anybody making changes to the timer handling
code took these possibilities into account.

  If this isn't really relevant, please ignore.  :)



Owen Taylor <> writes:

> Tim Janik <> writes:
> > hey owen,
> > 
> > i just came across the current_time values you pass in to glib main loop
> > sources in prepare(), check() and dispatch().
> > while current_time contains a reasonably valid value for prepare() (minus
> > the delay that occoured from previoud prepare() calls), it is more or
> > less bogus (too old) for check() and dispatch():
> [...]
> > at least directly after poll() we should refetch current_time, and since
> > dispatching can be quite time consuming for some sources, i think we should
> > also refetch it after a source has been dispatched.
> > with what we currently have, all current_time values only refer to the one
> > moment when we started out with preparing the sources, and i don't really
> > see how that would be usefull (in check() and dispatch()).
> > if, for *some* reason that is not yet aparent to me, you actually mean to
> > pass around time_when_loop_iteration_started, then we have to at least
> > rename current_time to something different.
> Hi Tim,
> I've had a chance to look at this now, and I'd agree that we need to
> refetch the time at the end of the poll(). It tends to actually work
> OK for a lot of things now, because usually we'll go around to the
> next iteration immediately, and the timeout will be dispatched without
> further waiting; but the intervals get rather screwed up, because the
> time for the next iterations is _after_ all the other dispatches in
> the same batch get fired, so the next timout is potentially delayed
> under load. 
> The tests you did with BEAST tend to be empirical confirmation that
> the change helps.
> But I'm less sure we should refetch the time after each dispatch.
> Firt, lets consider a real world example:
>  0ms:  timers start
>  30ms: timer 1 fires, expiration = 60ms
>  40ms: timer 2 fires, expiration = 70ms
>  60ms: timer 1 fires, expiration = 90ms
>  70ms: timer 2 fires, expiration = 100ms
> If we refetch only after the poll, then we have:
>  0ms:  timers start
>  30ms: timer 1 fires, expiration = 60ms
>  40ms: timer 2 fires, expiration = 60ms
>  60ms: timer 1 fires, expiration = 90ms
>  70ms: timer 2 fires, expiration = 90ms
> Not too much to choose between here - either way, we
> get the right intervals, though with the first, there
> is some chance of slippage, since the delay of the
> second timer is permeanent, even if the first timer
> removed.
> So, for pure performance, I'm not really sure what 
> difference it makes. I suppose we need a mainloop
> torture test, and do some testing.
> But there are a couple of, I think, good reasons to 
> not update the current time after the dispatch:
>  - It doesn't fit into the "theory" of the main loop, which
>    is that after the poll, we effectively take a "snapshot"
>    of the current state by calling check on each source, then dispatch
>    them. This means, for instance, that even if we do get
>    a newer current time, then we can't decide to dispatch another
>    timeout based on it. The reason we do things this way
>    is to get a consistent view of the priorities of the sources.
>  - If we don't know whether we need to refetch it, then why don't we
>    save the 1.6us and not do so. Syscalls are cheap on most OS's, but
>    getting the time of day can be a fairly involved process. (On
>    intel, it involves blocking interrupts, obtaining a lock in the
>    kernel, etc.)
> Maybe you want to retry your tests with BEAST and see if you
> get the same improvements with only refetching after the poll().
> (And, as I noted, we only want to refetch the time if we poll()
>  with a non-zero timeout.)
> Regards,
>                                         Owen
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