[concurrency-interest] Joda-Time immutability

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at joda.org
Mon Jun 20 14:10:04 EDT 2011

Java 7 Javadoc:
"If the underlying field is final, the method throws an
IllegalAccessException unless setAccessible(true) has succeeded for
this Field object and the field is non-static. Setting a final field
in this way is meaningful only during deserialization or
reconstruction of instances of classes with blank final fields, before
they are made available for access by other parts of a program. Use in
any other context may have unpredictable effects, including cases in
which other parts of a program continue to use the original value of
this field. "

So this approach fails. Back to square one.

Any other suggestions?

Does this work?

class DateTime extends BaseDateTime {
 private transient volatile fixBadDesign;

 publc DateTime(long millis) {
   fixbadDesign = this;
   DateTime fixed = fixbadDesign;



On 20 June 2011 18:45, David M. Lloyd <david.lloyd at redhat.com> wrote:
> On 06/20/2011 12:32 PM, Stephen Colebourne wrote:
>> On 20 June 2011 17:52, Attila Szegedi<szegedia at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>> Well, to me it looks like it's implemented:
>>> import java.lang.reflect.Field;
>>> public class TestFinalField {
>>>   public final int x = 1;
>>>   public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
>>>     TestFinalField tff = new TestFinalField();
>>>     Field f = tff.getClass().getField("x");
>>>     f.setAccessible(true);
>>>     f.set(tff, 2);
>>>     System.out.println(tff.x);
>>>   }
>>> }
>>> This prints "1", and not "2". So, setting of a final field is actually
>>> silently ignored with setAccessible(true), for better or worse. Without
>>> setAccessible(), it will actually throw an exception. With the "final"
>>> qualifier removed from the field, it prints "2", as expected. I tested it
>>> with both latest Java 6 and on the b145 build of OpenJDK 7, and both
>>> behaves
>>> as described.
>> Well thats weird, because my change works and passes the tests in
>> Joda-Time.
>> https://github.com/JodaOrg/joda-time/commit/067983f2684fa9e9ca4af4ef73b09e2be2f70001#diff-8
>> Anyone know what is going on? Can this be sufficiently relied on? I
>> haven't really got a workable alternative.
> AFAIK the only time you can count on this working is if you've constructed
> an object instance without calling its constructor (a la serialization).  In
> other words the JVM is allowed to assume that the final field won't change
> and optimize accordingly.
> I wouldn't rely on this trick for updating a field outside of a readObject()
> method.
> --
> - DML
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