[Stackless] Example Re: Requesting Comments for a Deadlock Detection Module

Andrew Francis andrewfr_ice at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 8 20:55:18 CEST 2009

Hi Richard:

--- On Fri, 4/3/09, Richard Tew <richard.m.tew at gmail.com> wrote:

Sorry for being so tardy in responding. And thanks for the helpful feedback.

> The best time to try out something like this, is of course
> when the problem unexpectedly arises.  Unless anyone has any
> outstanding deadlocks they are working around, it might be hard to do
> this.

Well from reading this mailing list, I have seen a few examples of developers complaining about deadlock. So deadlock does happen. The problem is recognizing it. It would help if I had more examples other my own. I am still trying to figure out the limits of my approach. I want to punch holes in the detector.

> It might be worthwhile do something along these lines:

The semester ends soon so I can do most of this. Also I would need an account.

> Personally, I prefer a postmortem approach like this:


I find this URL very helpful. I haven't played with frames and traceback so I found the example helpful. Yes, it is useful to give stuff like the line number. 

This may also get me into looking at debugging.

> Place the deadlock detection at the lowest level and
> periodically monitor unexpected behaviour.  Then when unpredictable
> behaviour occurs in a live situation, which is not likely
> reproducible in a test environment, postmortem information is available.

I am not sure what lowest level means....

Well the way the detector currently works is that it runs once the Stackless Scheduler has decided there is deadlock. Perhaps a more obtrusive detector could wrap channels, hook into schedule.call_back, execute and throw an exception. However I doubt if this is much better.

I feel, provided the detector works on all but the most trivial examples, and one is scared of deadlock, the programmer will throw in the few extra lines of code (registerResources). 

> And unpredictability in my experience, tends to be best
> demonstrated by as full a picture of the logic flow as possible.  

Yes I agree. Let me play with this.

>This means a call stack with local variables.

Well the detector as it stands, ought to tell you about the contentious channels involved in the deadlock. I suspect analysing the local 
variables will give you all the channels available to the deadlocked tasklet. This is more than you may need. 

Thanks for the suggestions.



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