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The Managed Runtime Initiative kernel modifications

The Managed Runtime Initiative kernel modifications

Posted Jun 17, 2010 7:04 UTC (Thu) by bgallmeister (guest, #59580)
Parent article: The Managed Runtime Initiative

I'm one of the team at Azul working on these kernel-side changes. You're right, we haven't talked with many folks about our enhancements yet. While we have had discussions with some in the kernel community, we've been unable to discuss our enhancements in the wider audience until the Managed Runtime Initiative was launched.

We realize the kernel code we've just published as part of MRI is not yet ready for prime time, and will take iterations to wend its way upstream. Right now, the code should be considered a basis for discussion. It'd be good to have the conversation about the types of problems we're solving, and how we might improve our solutions.

Until MRI kernel changes are perceived as solving a general problem in an acceptable, maintainable way, they're not going to be accepted by the Linux community. That's fine, and it's why we published the code this week--so we could start talking about it.

And, yeah, we know that facilities like pluggable memory managers and schedulers are...uh...contentious. We thought this packaging was a bit more comprehensible than inline changes to all of the mm and sched code.


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The Managed Runtime Initiative kernel modifications

Posted Jun 17, 2010 10:05 UTC (Thu) by cesarb (subscriber, #6266) [Link]

Let me see if I understood. You are saying "pluggable memory managers and schedulers" are not how it should be, but only a way of separating the code so it is easier to discuss? That is, the way you would really want it done is actually changing the core mm and sched code directly, instead of changing it to create a pluggable interface and then plugging the things you want done over it?

I think everyone is going to discuss the "pluggable" part and ignore the rest of the code.

The Managed Runtime Initiative kernel modifications

Posted Jun 17, 2010 14:44 UTC (Thu) by giltene (guest, #67734) [Link]

The purpose of releasing the code, and of the initiative as a whole, is to demonstrate the value of new functionality [as it pertains to improving runtime execution] and to advocate for the inclusion of such functionality in upstream projects and products. We think that "solving" garbage collection [across the 1GB-640GB range] is a pretty good demonstration, and will be interesting enough to consider the inclusion of the new functionality and interfaces that make it possible.

We fully expect that the code itself will morph 17 ways before it is accepted upstream. It's layout will change. It's APIs will change, and the functionality it provides will change, as people comment/argue about other generic uses of the same capabilities and how to best integrate the new functionality and interfaces with the existing ones [e.g. should/could everything be done under madvise? Should mmap be extended with new options?].

Whether pluggable memory modules are good/bad will be a separate [sub]discussion - and we're not that attached to either form. It's a good development vehicle for now, and makes it convenient to focus most of the big functionality additions and new interfaces in isolated modules while their details are being ironed out and stabilized. Rapid fire changes to system calls is usually a bad thing, and a loadable module with ioctls allows for easier to experimentation and morphing.

The Managed Runtime Initiative kernel modifications

Posted Jun 18, 2010 9:09 UTC (Fri) by cmot (guest, #53097) [Link]

I have the suspicion that a large (and apparently under-documented) code dump like this will never seriously be looked at in depth.

The way to get code in the kernel has always been small, incremental steps (or subsystems that are well isolated and speak to the kernel using established APIs, like new filesystems/drivers/... - but memory management and CPU scheduling code is probably not in this category...)

The Managed Runtime Initiative kernel modifications

Posted Jun 18, 2010 9:59 UTC (Fri) by marcH (subscriber, #57642) [Link]

> I have the suspicion that a large (and apparently under-documented) code dump like this will never seriously be looked at in depth.

All good then, since the post you are replying to explains this was not a goal.


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