Web lists-archives.com

Re: [GSoC][RFC] Proposal: Make pack access code thread-safe




On Sun, Apr 7, 2019 at 7:52 PM Christian Couder
<christian.couder@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>
> Hi Matheus
>
> On Sun, Apr 7, 2019 at 10:48 PM Matheus Tavares Bernardino
> <matheus.bernardino@xxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > This is my proposal for GSoC with the subject "Make pack access code
> > thread-safe".
>
> Thanks!
>
> > I'm late in schedule but I would like to ask for your
> > comments on it. Any feedback will be highly appreciated.
> >
> > The "rendered" version can be seen here:
> > https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QXT3iiI5zjwusplcZNf6IbYc04-9diziVKdOGkTHeIU/edit?usp=sharing
>
> Thanks for the link!
>
> > Besides administrative questions and contributions to FLOSS projects, at
> > FLUSP, I’ve been mentoring people who want to start contributing to the
> > Linux Kernel and now, to Git, as well.
>
> Nice! Do you have links about that?

Unfortunately not :( Maybe just the mentoring slides (e.g.
https://flusp.ime.usp.br/materials/Kernel_Primeiros_Passos.pdf). But
they are all in Portuguese, so I don't know wether it would be
valuable to add them here...

> > # The Project
> >
> > As direct as possible, the goal with this project is to make more of
> > Git’s codebase thread-safe, so that we can improve parallelism in
> > various commands. The motivation behind this are the complaints from
> > developers experiencing slow Git commands when working with large
> > repositories[1], such as chromium and Android. And since nowadays, most
> > personal computers have multi-core CPUs, it is a natural step trying to
> > improve parallel support so that we can better use the available resources.
> >
> > With this in mind, pack access code is a good target for improvement,
> > since it’s used by many Git commands (e.g., checkout, grep, blame, diff,
> > log, etc.). This section of the codebase is still sequential and has
> > many global states, which should be protected before we can work to
> > improve parallelism.
>
> I think it's better if global state can be made local or perhaps
> removed, rather than protected (though of course that's not always
> possible).

Indeed! I just added this to the docs version. Thanks

> > ## The Pack Access Code
> >
> > To better describe what the pack access code is, we must talk about
> > Git’s object storing (in a simplified way):
>
> Maybe s/storing/storage/

Thanks. Already changed.

> > Besides what are called loose objects,
>
> s/loose object/loose object files/

Done, thanks!

> > Git has a very optimized mechanism to compactly store
> > objects (blobs, trees, commits, etc.) in packfiles[2]. These files are
> > created by[3]:
> >
> > 1. listing objects;
> > 2. sorting the list with some good heuristics;
> > 3. traversing the list with a sliding window to find similar objects in
> > the window, in order to do delta decomposing;
> > 4. compress the objects with zlib and write them to the packfile.
> >
> > What we are calling pack access code in this document, is the set of
> > functions responsible for retrieving the objects stored at the
> > packfiles. This process consists, roughly speaking, in three parts:
> >
> > 1. Locate and read the blob from packfile, using the index file;
> > 2. If the blob is a delta, locate and read the base object to apply the
> > delta on top of it;
> > 3. Once the full content is read, decompress it (using zlib inflate).
> >
> > Note: There is a delta cache for the second step so that if another
> > delta depends on the same base object, it is already in memory. This
> > cache is global; also, the sliding windows, are global per packfile.
>
> Yeah, but the sliding windows are used only when creating pack files,
> not when reading them, right?
>
> > If these steps were thread-safe, the ability to perform the delta
> > reconstruction (together with the delta cache lookup) and zlib inflation
> > in parallel could bring a good speedup. At git-blame, for example,
> > 24%[4] of the time is spent in the call stack originated at
> > read_object_file_extended. Not only this but once we have this big
> > section of the codebase thread-safe, we can work to parallelize even
> > more work at higher levels of the call stack. Therefore, with this
> > project, we aim to make room for many future optimizations in many Git
> > commands.
>
> Nice.
>
> > # Plan
> >
> > I will probably be working mainly with packfile.c, sha1-file.c,
> > object-store.h, object.c and pack.h, however, I may also need to tackle
> > other files. I will be focusing on the following three pack access call
> > chains, found in git-grep and/or git-blame:
> >
> > read_object_file → repo_read_object_file → read_object_file_extended →
> > read_object → oid_object_info_extended → find_pack_entry →
> > fill_pack_entry → find_pack_entry_one → bsearch_pack and
> > nth_packed_object_offset
> >
> > oid_object_info → oid_object_info_extended → <same as previous>
> >
> > read_object_with_reference → read_object_file → <same as previous>
> >
> > Ideally, at the end of the project, it will be possible to call
> > read_object_file, oid_object_info and read_object_with_reference with
> > thread-safety, so that these operations can be, latter, performed in
> > parallel.
> >
> > Here are some threads on Git’s mailing list where I started discussing
> > my project:
> >
> > * https://public-inbox.org/git/CAHd-oW7onvn4ugEjXzAX_OSVEfCboH3-FnGR00dU8iaoc+b8=Q@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx/
> > * https://public-inbox.org/git/20190402005245.4983-1-matheus.bernardino@xxxxxx/#t
> >
> > And also, a previous attempt to make part of the pack access code
> > thread-safe which I may use as a base:
> >
> > * https://public-inbox.org/git/20140212015727.1D63A403D3@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx/#Z30builtin:gc.c
>
> Nice.
>
> > # Points to work on
> >
> > * Investigate pack access call chains and look for non-thread-safe
> > operations on then.
> > * Protect packfile.c read-and-write global variables, such as
> > pack_open_windows, pack_open_fds and etc., using mutexes.
>
> Do you want to work on making both packfile reading and packfile
> writing thread safe? Or just packfile reading?

I plan to work on packfile reading, only.

> If some variables are used for both reading and writing packfiles, do
> you plan to protect them only when they are used for reading?

Hm, I haven't thought of that before. But indeed, if they are used for
both, I think I should protect them in both cases.

> The rest of your proposal looks very good to me. Please make sure you
> upload this or an updated version soon to the GSoC web site.

Thanks, Christian. I will work on the final points today and submit it.

> Thanks,
> Christian.