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Subject: Re: [OMPI devel] opal_init/finalize counter --> boolean
From: Ralph Castain (rhc_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-07-11 09:55:08


On Jul 11, 2011, at 5:37 AM, Terry Dontje wrote:

> Trying to uplevel this a bit so I can figure out which of these paths makes sense to me. Is the only reason we want to convert the symmetry of init and finalize to being asymmetric is to support an abort case? Forgive me Ralph, I know you had posted this in one of the emails but I wanted to make sure it was that simple (I feel it probably isn't).

Not really - my concern was originally raised when looking at memory leaks during normal termination of orterun. It was then that I discovered that opal_finalize wasn't actually doing anything because of this counter situation.

So I looked and tried to understand why we were treating opal different from ompi and orte. When we call ompi_finalize, there is no expectation of being able to call an OMPI function afterwards - ditto for ORTE.

But for some unexplained reason, we seemed to be saying that you could still access OPAL functions -after- finalizing that layer. This made no sense to me. So I compensated by immediately invoking opal_finalize_util after calling orte_init, and putting a comment around it to make it clear why this had to be done.

The more I looked at it, though, the more it bothered me that somehow opal is behaving different from everything else. When we originally created opal_init_util, the reason wasn't to create another layer of complexity. This happened about 1-2 years into the project. Up until that time, our tools were using the opal cmd line utilities without having initialized them. We finally realized that situation, and that it could cause problems. However, we didn't want to initialize all of opal at that point since we first wanted to harvest the MCA params (as the opal frameworks might be impacted by them at open), which required use of the cmd line utilities.

So we created a new entry point that initialized only those parts of opal required to process cmd lines and setup MCA params. There was no intent to create an ability to use those capabilities after finalizing ORTE, which has always supposedly finalized OPAL. We were just trying to ensure that the MCA params were getting properly setup.

I understand the symmetry argument. However, I'm more concerned with expected behavior. If I finalize something, I expect it to finalize and no longer be available, following the same behavior as the other layers. I don't expect it to "maybe finalize", or to only "partially finalize".

In talking with Jeff, we realized it was somewhat of a semantics issue. Hence the proposal to make "finalize" always finalize, but to create the ability to do what George appeared to be passionate about - i.e., to leave the door open to selectively finalize the two main parts of opal (the utilities and the frameworks). I can't imagine why we would ever want to do that, but I have no issue with leaving that possibility.

This changed the current opal_init to be opal_framework_init, a more accurate name of what it does. It creates a corresponding opal_framework_finalize, which more accurately reflects the intended functionality of the current opal_finalize.

It then creates a new opal_finalize function that guarantees "finalize" of opal, corresponding to opal_init, which guarantees that all parts of opal have been initialized regardless of what may have happened previously (i.e., regardless of whether or not you called opal_init_util). Unlike the current functions, if you call this one you get the same behavior you do from ompi_finalize and orte_finalize - the opal layer is guaranteed to finalize.

As for ORTE finalizing OPAL - I personally couldn't care less. If we want to separately finalize ORTE and OPAL in OMPI, that's fine with me. I'm not sure why it would matter - even George admits that nobody has yet found a reason to use OPAL after calling orte_finalize, and since that is done in ompi_finalize, it seems easy to ensure that orte_finalize always happened at the end. But either way is fine with me.

Unlike what George implies, I actually don't have strong feelings over this. My concern was that the call to opal_finalize was behaving differently than expected, which led to it being misused in a number of places. If the community would prefer the counter approach, and to retain this difference in behavior, then fine - it is easily reverted, I'll go back to sprinkling finalizes and comments around the code base, etc.

>
> --td
>
> On 7/11/2011 7:28 AM, George Bosilca wrote:
>>
>> On Jul 9, 2011, at 13:43 , Jeff Squyres wrote:
>>
>>> Leaving out many details, I think the arguments can be summarized as:
>>>
>>> 1. Ralph's argument is that per convention of our other 2 layers, "<foo>_finalize" should unconditionally finalize the layer. Just do it. It's also weird that opal_finalize() may actually do *nothing* (vs. finalizing at least all of its stuff but leave OPAL util stuff initialized) -- this is not symmetric.
>>>
>>> 2. George's argument is that for API symmetry, if you call opal_init_util, then opal shouldn't be finalized until opal_finalize_util is invoked. Plus, we may want to use OPAL utils after opal_finalize someday (note that we don't do this today).
>>>
>>> How about a compromise?
>> Based on the english dictionary a compromise is an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions. This is not a compromise. This is exactly what Ralph did plus name changes. Therefore, this is a single sided settlement.
>>
>>> - Take what is (essentially) in opal_init() today and rename it to be opal_init_frameworks() -- because it's (mostly) initializing the OPAL MCA frameworks.
>>>
>>> - Take what is (essentially) in opal_finalize() today and rename it to be opal_finalize_frameworks() -- because it's (mostly) finalizing the OPAL MCA frameworks. Remove the call to opal_finalize_util() from this function.
>>>
>>> - Remove all use of counters; calling opal_init*() will initialize (unless it has already been initialized), and calling opal_finalize*() will finalize (unless it has already been finalized).
>>>
>>> - Create a new opal_init() function that is a wrapper around opal_init_util() and opal_init_frameworks(). Create a new opal_finalize() function that is a wrapper around opal_finalize_util() and opal_finalize_frameworks().
>>>
>>> - orte_finalize() will call opal_finalize() -- i.e., it will unconditionally shut down all of OPAL. This will remove the need for opal_finalize_util() in the MPI layer.
>>>
>>> This seems to give all desired behaviors:
>>>
>>> - All <foo>_finalize() functions will be unconditional. The Law of Least Surprise is preserved.
>>>
>>> - There are paths for split init and split finalize and combined init and combined finalize. They can even be combined (e.g., split init and combined finalize -- which will be a common case, actually).
>> Least surprise you say? How surprise one will be once he/she realize that orte_finalize teared down all OPAL. At least, do not forget to add one of those nice comments about the fact that one have to initialize the utils, but don't have to finalize them, ORTE will graciously do it for you.
>>
>> You want to change names, OK go for it. At the point where the code is today, I don't think it really matters anymore. In fact why do we need a boolean in the code Ralph put inside? If the opal_finalize is supposed to clean up everything just go ahead and remove that useless bool. And as you made the code easy to understand by few, put a big comment for all the others (the ones that will try to understand why their code break after a simple orte_finalize).
>>
>> Moreover, Open MPI is a community project. I'm the only one against this change and you guys are two for adding this great feature to the code base. So go ahead and implement it with the blessing of the entire community!
>>
>> george.
>>
>>
>>> If we ever want to use OPAL utility behavior after orte_finalize() someday, we can. E.g., we can pass a flag to orte_finalize() saying "use opal_finalize_frameworks() instead of opal_finalize()", or perhaps even "don't finalize OPAL at all."
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Jul 8, 2011, at 11:57 AM, George Bosilca wrote:
>>>
>>>> On Jul 8, 2011, at 16:15 , Ralph Castain wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>> So we have opal_init * 1 and opal_util * 2. Clearly the opal util is not a simple ON/OFF stuff. With Ralph patch the OPAL utilities will disappear as soon as the OMPI layer call orte_fini. Luckily, today there is nothing between the call to orte_fini and opal_finalize_util, so we're safe from a segfault.
>>>>> The point is that you shouldn't be calling opal_finalize_util separately. We do so now only because of the counter - there is no reason for doing it separately otherwise.
>>>> Absolutely not, we do so for consistency. If as a software layer have to explicitly call the opal util initialization function (in order to access some features), then it should __explicitly__ state when it doesn't need it anymore (instead of relying on some other layer will do the right thing for me).
>>>>
>>>>> In other words, we created a counter, and then modified the code to make the counter work. There is no reason for it to exist as there is no use of the opal utilities following the call to orte_finalize.
>>>> It happens today that this is not the case, which doesn't means 1) nobody will ever do it; 2) it is correct to just assume you can release it somewhere else; 3) assume a bool is equivalent to a counter.
>>>>
>>>>>> Moreover, from a software engineering point of view there are two choices for allowing library composition (ORTE using OPAL, OMPI using ORTE and OPAL, something else using OMPI and ORTE and OPAL). Either you do the management at the lowest level using counters, or you provide accessors to check the init/fini state of the library and do the management at the upper level (similar to the MPI library). In Open MPI and this for the last 7 years we chose the first approach. And so far there was no compelling case to switch.
>>>>> Yes there was - we just never checked it. None of the tools were calling opal_finalize multiple times. There was an inherent understanding that calling orte_finalize would shut everything down. This wasn't the case because this hidden counter wasn't getting zero'd, and so opal_finalize never actually executed.
>>>> I dont get it. Why do a tool has to call the opal_finalize function multiple times? Instead, each layer should call it as many time as it called the corresponding initialization function, and because each layer is supposed to get initialized and finalized a equivalent number of times everything will just work.
>>>>
>>>> The modification in your commit created two different behavior, one for software using ORTE (which can safely assume everything was teared down after orte_fini and can avoid calling the opal_finalize_util) and one for every other software that doesn't use ORTE and therefore has to call opal_finalize_util as many times as it called the corresponding init function.
>>>>
>>>>> Now imagine there is an abnormal termination. You can't know for sure where it occurs - did we increment the counter already, or not? So how many times do I have to call opal_finalize and opal_finalize_util to get them to actually execute?
>>>> First I'll say that if it's only for abnormal termination, I don't really care about not having memory leaks. Now let's assume we do care about memory leaks. First there are many process data left around, the job map the modex info, countless other things that are significantly more difficult to cleanup than the opal util. And then, as I saidf before each layer should call the fini function exactly the same number of times it called the corresponding init.
>>>>
>>>>> The way things sat, I could only loop over opal_finalize and opal_finalize_util until I got back an error indicating it had finally executed. That is plain ugly.
>>>>>
>>>>> It isn't a big deal, but creates a hidden 'gotcha' that results in some ugly code to compensate if you want to cleanly terminate under all conditions. If you have a compelling case where someone needs to access the opal utils -after- having called orte_finalize or opal_finalize, then I would welcome hearing about it.
>>>> We did not have to do any of this in the MPI layer, and we did have a correct handling of this issue.
>>>>
>>>> george.
>>>>
>>>> PS: Small reminder in case we decide to withdraw this change: r24862 and r24864 are now related.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>
>>> --
>>> Jeff Squyres
>>> jsquyres_at_[hidden]
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