[concurrency-interest] Volatile stores in constructors, disallowed to see the default value

David Holmes davidcholmes at aapt.net.au
Thu Nov 28 05:07:39 EST 2013

> -----Original Message-----
> From: concurrency-interest-bounces at cs.oswego.edu
> [mailto:concurrency-interest-bounces at cs.oswego.edu]On Behalf Of Aleksey
> Shipilev
> Sent: Thursday, 28 November 2013 4:28 PM
> To: dholmes at ieee.org; concurrency-interest
> Subject: Re: [concurrency-interest] Volatile stores in constructors,
> disallowed to see the default value
> On 11/28/2013 02:46 AM, David Holmes wrote:
> >> In order to answer what outcomes are possible we need to dump the
> >> usual/partial/misleading "reorderings" and "happens-before"
> mindset, and
> >> get to the ground of spec. That is, we need to construct the possible
> >> traces and see if those traces are committable, as per JLS 17.4.8.
> >
> > And therein lies your mistake. The "happens-before mindset" as
> you put it is
> > what determines what the legal executions are. It was obvious from
> > happens-before considerations that your premise was invalid.
> Happens-before alone is not enough to mandate the semantics of Java
> Memory Model. Even though it can cover the significant part of the
> behaviors, the complete behavior of the model is governed by
> well-formedness of executions, as per JLS 17.4.{6-8}. The classic
> example (even shown in spec!) when the happens-before consistent program
> produces causality violations.

All that shows is that the presence of happens-before is not sufficient to
guarantee an allowed ordering. But you were arguing for an enforced ordering
when happens-before was absent. So I would maintain that the absence of
happens-before showed that the given reordering was permissible.

> > Q.E.D
> So, there was nothing "obvious" unless you have the concrete proof. The
> only reasonable way to prove this particular thing *was* to show the
> committable traces leading to particular results (like I did), *and* to
> find flaws in the reasoning in larger JMM. "La-la-la, happens-before,
> la-la-la" is hardly a proof, even though the conclusion is the same in
> this particular case. Make no mistake about it.

Well obviously we should just remove happens-before from the spec as it is
obviously completely superfluous to any kind of reasoning about the JMM.


> -Aleksey
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