[concurrency-interest] Question about reordering and volatile

Dhanji R. Prasanna dhanji at gmail.com
Tue Apr 1 09:23:40 EDT 2008

On Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 5:34 PM, Peter Veentjer <alarmnummer at gmail.com>

> I have a question about reorderings and volatile writes.
> Reorderings and volatile writes follow the 'roach motel'  (just like
> synchronized blocks) that prevents instructions from jumping over.
> Allowing an instruction before a volatile write on variable x to jump
> over that write, can lead to not seeing the effects of that
> instruction when you do the volatile read on x.This is not allowed
> according to the JMM: all changes made in thread a when it does a
> volatile write on  x, are visible when thread b does a volatile read
> on x. Ok.. no problem so far.
> But what about instructions after the volatile write? If these were
> allowed (and they are not according to the roach motel principle) to
> jump in front of the volatile write of x, thread b could see these
> changes as well. The results are exactly the same as the situation
> that the read of x (by thread b) happens after the instruction after
> the volatile write has executed (by thread a). So the letting the
> instruction after the write to (volatile variable) x, in front of this
> write, would not cause any havoc.

I'm not sure I understand correctly--are you saying that volatile operations
can safely be reordered (wrt other threads) to occur prior to a given
volatile write? Won't that make it no different than a non-volatile

Or do you mean non-volatile operations (i.e. not involving a volatile
variable) can be reordered around the volatile write?

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