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fix: threads can skip the line in publisher flow controller #422

merged 5 commits into from Jun 17, 2021


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@plamut plamut commented Jun 2, 2021

Fixes #421.

Contrary to the bytes reservations, free message slots are not distributed in FIFO order among the waiting threads, meaning that a message arriving later could be accepted before a message already waiting in the queue.

This PR fixes it by enforcing FIFO distribution of available message slots + some simplifications of the logic and data structures.

Tip: Might be easier to review commit-by-commit, each contains a well-rounded change to the codebase.

PR checklist:

  • Make sure to open an issue as a bug/issue before writing your code! That way we can discuss the change, evaluate designs, and agree on the general idea
  • Ensure the tests and linter pass
  • Code coverage does not decrease (if any source code was changed)
  • Appropriate docs were updated (if necessary)
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@pradn pradn commented Jun 17, 2021

The solution looks good, but I worry about the increase in complexity. Do you think the risk of starvation is high enough to warrant this change?


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@plamut plamut commented Jun 17, 2021

Do you think the risk of starvation is high enough to warrant this change?

I'd say yes, here's my thinking:

  • Any reported starvation bugs could be hard to verify/reproduce consistently, thus better to get rid of this now.
  • Ruby and Java do the same, they both control free slot distribution (in FIFO order).
  • This complexity is self-contained within an independent component, making it more manageable. Besides, some of the logic has also been simplified, so the net complexity increase is not that big (IMHO). 🙂

An argument against could be that users will not even be publishing messages in multiple threads using a shared client instance, most of them will probably just publish them in a single thread in a tight loop. But since we decided back then to make the flow controller thread-safe, then let's also keep it robust, which requires some inherent complexity anyway.


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@pradn pradn commented Jun 17, 2021

Okay, fwiw I agree with you that it's best to prevent hard-to-debug issues now. I wish there was a standard flow control mechanism we could just pull off the shelf, because there's some subtlety in this class.


pradn approved these changes Jun 17, 2021
@plamut plamut merged commit ef89f55 into googleapis:master Jun 17, 2021
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@plamut plamut deleted the iss-421 branch Jun 17, 2021
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3 participants