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From Robert Burrell Donkin <robertburrelldon...@blueyonder.co.uk>
Subject Re: ECS Deep Bug
Date Thu, 19 Jun 2008 20:24:45 GMT

On Tue, 2008-05-27 at 15:06 +0200, Mauro Manfrin wrote:
> Hello,

hello mauro

sorry for the late reply (i know it's no excuse but i've been
exceptionally busy)

> I'm contacting you to notify a Deep Bug I found on ECS project.
> First of all, I want to tell you that my company and I, use ECS1.4.1 and 
> then 1.4.2 as a kernel library for HTML page construction.
> We use Ecs as a sort of base toolkit for our framework that's the base for 
> our CRM solutions.
> Nowaday, I think that more than 10000 telephone operators use our ecs based 
> solution, 8 hours a day, in contact center applications. That's a real test 
> environment.
> Well. In the last installation, we used ecs on an AIX RISC JDK 1.5 platform 
> and we found a strange bug.
> I think that that bug affects all releases of ECS, because of a base mistake 
> in ConcreteElement.java class.
> Let's go to the real problem:
> The class ConcreteElement exposes a method
> addElement(Element element)
> that calls
> addElementToRegistry(Integer.toString(element.hashCode()),element);
> so it gives a key valued element.hashCode() to that element.
> That's the point: element.hashCode() can't be a unique key because sometimes 
> we can have two elements with the same hasocode.
> We experienced it only on IBM JDK, but the sun documentation (javadoc) 
> states:
> "It is not required that if two objects are unequal according to the 
> equals(java.lang.Object) method, then calling the hashCode method on each of 
> the two objects must produce distinct integer results. However, the 
> programmer should be aware that producing distinct integer results for 
> unequal objects may improve the performance of hashtables."
> So sometimes, two different objects can have the same hashCode!
> So, sometimes two calls to addElement(element) can result in only the second 
> object stored in the ConcreteElement.
> So sometimes, on out instalaltion some table rows misses, or some row cells 
> misses or...
> I think that's happening when IBM garbage collector compacts the heap, so 
> that a new object can get same address (i.e. hashcode) of an old shifted 
> object.


http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6321873 (for example)
suggests that this problem would not be limited just to AIX

> I've done some fixes to resolve.
> I've done a version of ConcreteElement that sotores object in the Map only 
> if you give explicitly a key-name, otherwise it stores only in the Vector. 
> That seems to work good, with a good retro-compatibility.

that sounds like it would work

> I know that ECS is not in a work-inprogress state, but why don't give to the 
> posterity a bugless software?

would you consider donating your patch to Apache?

- robert

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