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From Aaron Hamid <>
Subject [Transaction] API, GenerickLock, FileResourceManager (was Re: Transaction API, GenericLock, FileResourceManager)
Date Mon, 27 Jun 2005 14:19:35 GMT
Hi Oliver, thanks for the explanation.  The application itself is not single-threaded.  It
is a servlet engine with potentially multiple simultaneous threads.  What is intended to be
"single-threaded" is usage of a Node, e.g.:

Node n = store.getPath(path);
List l = n.children();
Node child = (Node) l.get(0);

(I believe this is similar to JNDI...imagine another request thread doing the same - with
different Node instances which refer to the same resource)  I am not intending, for example,
the child object to be handed to another thread.  Each Node implementation has its own lock
member field, so with respect to parent/child relationships, usage is single-threaded (although
clearly re-entrant as children must obtain parent locks).

I will use Thread.currentThread() for the "owner".  I'm not clear as to the utility of non-thread
owners...what is the semantics of synchronization if the owners are not threads?  Or is the
intention that owners ultimately must be associated with unique threads?


ReadWriteLock lock = ...;

String ownerA = "a";
String ownerB = "b";
lock.acquireWrite(ownerA, Long.MAX_VALUE);
lock.acquireWrite(ownerB, Long.MAX_VALUE);

Is the intention that the above statement deadlock? Whereas if the owner was Thread.currentThread
(or any 2 identical objects for that matter), I would assume the call we be considered a re-entrant
acquisition and not deadlock (?).  I guess I have always thought of the Thread (or some other
concurrency construct, such as Process) as the implicit owner in any synchronization scheme.


Oliver Zeigermann wrote:
> Hi Aaron!
> On 6/24/05, Aaron Hamid <> wrote:
>>Hi all,
>>  I suspect I just reimplemented FileResourceManager, because I was not aware of it
until recently (despite using the org.apache.commons.transaction.locking package).  Basically
I created a hierarchical Node interface, with operations like: children() and read(), which
implicitly obtain a readlock; write(), which upgrades to a write lock; and close() which releases
the locks.
>>First, I'm wondering if there is a way to list a directory through the API, which
itself requires a read lock, or whether I must explicitly obtain the lock, and then perform
the listing externally (which is cumbersome).
> The FileResourceManager is more low level than your approach. It does
> not have the notion of hierarchichal data and thus no idea of
> children.
>>Also, I'm curious as to the significance of the "owner" parameter to the lock API.
 For instance, I keep lock objects as a member field of Node implementations, using the unique
path as a resource id:
> The "owner" is whatever object owns, i.e. holds, the lock. This can
> e.g. be a thread, a process, a transaction, an application or
> whatever. In "normal" Java locking this would be the thread.
>>public class NodeImpl {
>>  private ReadWriteLock lock;
>>  private Node parent;
>>  public NodeImpl(Node parent, Path path, Store store) {
>>    lock = new ReadWriteLock(new StorePath(store, path), null);
>>  }
>>  public void open() {
>>    // should I send 'this' as owner?
>>    lock.acquireRead(this, Long.MAX_VALUE);
>>  }
>>  public void openForWriting() {
>>    // should I send 'this' as owner?
>>    lock.acquireWrite(this, Long.MAX_VALUE);
>>  }
>>  public void write() {
>>    parent.openForWriting();
>>    this.openForWriting();
>>    // .. do some writing ..
>>  }
>>  public void close() {
>>    lock.release();
>>  }
>>Now...what should the value of the "owner" object be?  Should it naively be the 'this'
object?  Or should it be the Thread.currentThread(), or is it completely irrelevant and only
for informational purposes?  As you can see, to perform any writing, I must also lock the
parent node (for instance, if the write creates a new file...we can't allow reads/listings
to be happening).  However, the parent node, in this implementation, will obtain the lock
with an owner value of itself.  Now, I intend Node usage to only be single-threaded anyway
(the strategy being other threads would obtain a distinct node object, and not share node
objects accross threads)...but in any case, is this still legitimate, or should I be obtaining
the parent lock with some /other/ value of owner?  If I used distinct owners with that prevent
the child not from acquiring the lock, even though it is in its own thread?  The semantics
of "owner" don't seem to be very well documented.
> I thought the notion of an "owner" was rahter obvious. Anyway, if you
> have a single threaded application, why use locking?
> Oliver
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