This allows the JVM to take advantage of its knowledge about what’s happening in the virtual threads when making decision on which threads to schedule next. It helped me think of virtual threads as tasks, that will eventually run on a real thread⟨™) AND that need the underlying native calls to do the heavy non-blocking lifting. While implementing async/await is easier than full-blown continuations and fibers, that solution falls far too short of addressing the problem. In other words, it does not solve what’s known as the “colored function” problem. The main technical mission in implementing continuations — and indeed, of this entire project — is adding to HotSpot the ability to capture, store and resume callstacks not as part of kernel threads. Structured concurrency aims to simplify multi-threaded and parallel programming.
In the example below, we start one thread for each ExecutorService. But in the example, we created a dependency between the executorServices; ExecutorService X can’t finish before Y. This example works because the resources in the try are closed in reversed order. First, we wait for ExecutorService Y to close, and then the close method on X will is called.
Implementing Raft using Project Loom
Similarly, for the use of Object.wait, which isn’t common in modern code, anyway , which uses j.u.c. Recent years have seen the introduction of many asynchronous APIs to the Java ecosystem, from asynchronous NIO in the JDK, asynchronous servlets, and many asynchronous third-party libraries. This is a sad case of a good and natural abstraction being abandoned in favor of a less natural one, which is overall worse in many respects, merely because of the runtime performance characteristics of the abstraction.
Continuation, the software construct is the thing that allows multiple virtual threads to seamlessly run on very few carrier threads, the ones that are actually operated by your Linux system. Project Loom’s mission is to make it easier to write, debug, profile and maintain concurrent applications meeting today’s requirements. Project Loom will introduce fibers as lightweight, efficient threads managed by the Java Virtual Machine, that let developers use the same simple abstraction project loom java but with better performance and lower footprint. A fiber is made of two components — a continuation and a scheduler. As Java already has an excellent scheduler in the form of ForkJoinPool, fibers will be implemented by adding continuations to the JVM. Briefly, instead of creating threads for each concurrent task , a dedicated thread looks through all the tasks that are assigned to threads in a non-reactive model, and processes each of them on the same CPU core.
Fibers will be mostly implemented in Java in the JDK libraries, but may require some support in the JVM. Deepu is a polyglot developer, Java Champion, and OSS aficionado. He co-leads JHipster and created the JDL Studio and KDash. He’s a Senior Developer Advocate for DevOps at Okta.
To summarize, parallelism is about cooperating on a single task, whereas concurrency is when different tasks compete for the same resources. In Java, parallelism is done using parallel streams, and project Loom is the answer to the problem with concurrency. In this article, we will be looking into Project Loom and how this concurrent model works. We will be discussing the prominent parts of the model such as the virtual threads, Scheduler, Fiber class and Continuations. Project Loom introduces lightweight threads to the Java platform. Before, each thread created in a Java application corresponded 1-1 to an operating system thread.
While we do get some help from the compiler and the implementation’s construction in verifying correctness, there’s still a lot of manual work. Testing also gets us only that far, it might show that in some scenarios the code behaves properly, but that’s no guarantee that race conditions or deadlocks won’t happen. At least in this case, we’re more after using Loom for the programming model, to create an understandable (and hence human-verifiable) implementation of Raft, rather than for performance—where Loom also has a lot to offer. The server Java process used 2.3 GB of committed resident memory and 8.4 GB of virtual memory.
In traditional blocking I/O, a thread will block from continuing its execution while waiting for data to be read or written. Due to the heaviness of threads, there is a limit to how many threads an application can have, and thus also a limit to how many concurrent connections the application can handle. This constraint means threads do not scale very well.
Project Loom’s Virtual Threads
If you prefer reading the code first and prose second, it’s all on GitHub, with side-by-side implementations of the Raft consensus algorithm using Scala+ZIO and Scala+Loom. After plenty of trial and error, I arrived at the following set of Linux kernel parameter changes to support the target socket scale. One of the main goals of Project Loom is to actually rewrite all the standard APIs. For example, socket API, or file API, or lock APIs, so lock support, semaphores, CountDownLatches.
Does it mean that Linux has some special support for Java? Because it turns out that not only user threads on your JVM are seen as kernel threads by your operating system. On newer Java versions, even thread names are visible to your Linux operating system. Even more interestingly, from the kernel point of view, there is no such thing as a thread versus process. This is just a basic unit of scheduling in the operating system. The only difference between them is just a single flag, when you’re creating a thread rather than a process.
The alternative method Thread.ofPlatform() returns a PlatformThreadBuilder via which we can start a platform thread. Blocking operations thus no longer block the executing thread. This allows us to process a large number of requests in parallel with a small pool of carrier threads. Assumptions leading to the asynchronous Servlet API are subject to be invalidated with the introduction of Virtual Threads. The async Servlet API was introduced to release server threads so the server could continue serving requests while a worker thread continues working on the request. This makes lightweight Virtual Threads an exciting approach for application developers and the Spring Framework.
None of the errors, closures, or timeouts outlined above occurred. I stopped the experiment after about 40 minutes of continuous operation. EchoServer creates many TCP passive server sockets, accepting new connections on each as they come in. For each active socket created, EchoServer receives bytes in and echoes them back out. The project consists of two simple components, EchoServer and EchoClient. Uncover emerging trends and practices from domain experts.
That use abuses ThreadLocal as an approximation of a processor-local (more precisely, a CPU-core-local) construct. With fibers, the two different uses would need to be clearly separated, as now a thread-local over possibly millions of threads is not a good approximation of processor-local data at all. If fibers are represented by Threads, then some changes would need to be made to such striped data structures. In any event, it is expected that the addition of fibers would necessitate adding an explicit API for accessing processor identity, whether precisely or approximately. If fibers are represented by the same Thread class, a fiber’s underlying kernel thread would be inaccessible to user code, which seems reasonable but has a number of implications.
If you’ve seen green threads or fibers in other programming languages, virtual threads are similar concepts. In fact, we’ve used fibers extensively in our previous implementation of Raft, when using a functional effect system. However, it’s now the Java runtime itself that manages these fibers/virtual threads instead of the library code.
Under the hood, asynchronous acrobatics are under way. Why go to this trouble, instead of just adopting something like ReactiveX at the language level? The answer is both to make it easier for developers to understand, and to make it easier to move the universe of existing code. For example, data store drivers can be more easily transitioned to the new model. As one of the reasons for implementing continuations as an independent construct of fibers is a clear separation of concerns. Continuations, therefore, are not thread-safe and none of their operations creates cross-thread happens-before relations.
Concurrency Model of Java
This may actually give you some overview like how heavyweight Java threads actually are. In terms of basic capabilities, fibers must run an arbitrary piece of Java code, concurrently with other threads , and allow the user to await their termination, namely, join them. Obviously, there must be mechanisms for suspending and resuming fibers, similar to LockSupport’s park/unpark.
This is actually a significant cost, every time you create a thread, that’s why we have thread pools. That’s why we were taught not to create too many threads on your JVM, because the context switching and memory consumption will kill us. As mentioned, the new Fiber class represents a virtual thread.
- If you ever wrote tests which involve Thread.sleep, you probably know that they are fragile and prone to flakiness.
- Again, threads — at least in this context — are a fundamental abstraction, and do not imply any programming paradigm.
- As we will see, a thread is not an atomic construct, but a composition of two concerns — a scheduler and a continuation.
- As the environment in which the program description is fully controlled, in tests ZIO uses a TestClock along with a test interpreter.
- Then again, it may not be necessary for Project Loom to solve all problems – any gaps will certainly be filled by new third-party libraries that provide solutions at a higher level of abstraction using virtual threads as a basis.
Virtual Threads impact not only Spring Framework but all surrounding integrations, such as database drivers, messaging systems, HTTP clients, and many more. Many of these projects are aware of the need to improve their synchronized behavior to unleash the full potential of Project Loom. Your personal data collected in this form will be used only to contact you and talk about your project. We’re just at the start of a discussion as to how to further evolve our effect systems. There’s been a hot exchange on that topic on the Scala Contributors forum, you can find the summary over here. Another interesting related presentation is Daniel Spiewak’s “Case for effect systems” where he argues that Loom obsoletes Future, but not IO.
Almost every blog post on the first page of Google surrounding JDK 19 copied the following text, describing virtual threads, verbatim. A rough outline of a possible API is presented below. Continuations are a very low-level primitive that will only be used by library authors to build higher-level constructs (just as java.util.Stream implementations leverage Spliterator). In the literature, nested continuations that allow such behavior are sometimes call “delimited continuations with multiple named prompts”, but we’ll call them scoped continuations. The utility of those other uses is, however, expected to be much lower than that of fibers.
Why do we need Loom?
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and introduce the main actors. A few use cases that are actually insane these days, but they will be maybe useful to some people when Project Loom arrives. For example, let’s say you want to run something after eight hours, so you need a very simple scheduling mechanism.
Learn more about Java, multi-threading, and Project Loom
Fibers are, then, what we call Java’s planned user-mode threads. This section will list the requirements of fibers and explore some design questions and options. It is not meant to be exhaustive, but merely present an outline of the design space and provide a sense of the challenges involved. The word thread will refer https://globalcloudteam.com/ to the abstraction only and never to a particular implementation, so thread may refer either to any implementation of the abstraction, whether done by the OS or by the runtime. We will call that feature unwind-and-invoke, or UAI. It is not the goal of this project to add an automatic tail-call optimization to the JVM.