[squeak-dev] The Inbox: Kernel-ct.1405.mcz

Jaromir Matas m at jaromir.net
Sat May 15 21:20:54 UTC 2021

Hi Christoph,

> Counterproposal to Kernel-jar.1404 for fixing VM crashes when resuming
> from a BlockCannotReturn. Instead of enforcing retrial, repair the context
> stack if the receiver has ended.

I was considering the idea whether it could make sense to "fix" the stack
but dumped it eventually because it would completely change the semantics of
non-local returns. In my opinion once the home context sender is not
available it means it's gone irreparably. There are two situation to
consider: double return to the same context within one stack (e.g. the
return context is gone or it may even still exist but its pc has moved) or
the home sender is on a different context stack - in case of forks etc.
Non-local returns between forks could in theory work but not in the current
environment; Squeak strictly requires the home context sender to be on the
same stack. 

> Not in all situations, the receiver of #cannotReturn: is actually unable
> to resume. Consider this example for a disproof:
>     `a := [true ifTrue: [^ 1]. 2].`
>     "Both statements need to be executed separately in a Workspace so that
> [a outerContext sender] becomes nil!"
>     `a value.`
> In this situation, it is valid to resume from BlockCannotReturn and
> currently also possible in the Trunk. Note that BlockCannotReturn even
> overrides #isResumable to answer true, though the class comment
> discrecommends resuming it.

My interpretation of this example is the home sender of  ^1 is gone once the
first do-it ends. So the second do-it correctly, in my opinion, invokes the
cannot return error. Current Trunk returning 2 seems wildly incorrect to me.

Resuming BlockCannotReturn sounds crazy to me by definition and you're
right: it's set as resumable, I haven't noticed. I'd set it non-resumable.
If a block cannot return, why should we be tempted to do that? :)

> Nevertheless, this raises another question - what would you expect from
> this
> example to return?
> `a := [true ifTrue: [^ 1] yourself].`
> "Both statements need to be executed separately in a Workspace so that [a
> outerContext sender] becomes nil!"
> `[a value] on: BlockCannotReturn do: [:ex | ex resume].`
> Should it be 1 or nil? In the Trunk, is it nil, if we override
> \#defaultResumeValue as below, it will be 1.

This is a mean example... My fix ended in an infinite loop :)  I tried to
fix it but the only clean solution that occurred to me is to set
BlockCannotReturn as non-resumable.

But again, my interpretation here is any attempt to "repair" the context
that cannot return means a substantial change of the non-local return
semantics. It means I'd return nil because the meaning of the error is: I
cannot return 1 to my home sender. Here's one of my examples I'm planning to
send as test cases to the Inbox soon:

		[ ] ensure: [
			[] ensure: [
				^Transcript show: 'x1']. 
			Transcript show: 'x2']
	] ensure: [
		Transcript show: 'x3'].
	Transcript show: 'x4'
] fork

In this case the expected outcome is ---> x1 x3. Neither x2 nor x4 should be
printed (x2 is intentionally skipped by the non-local return and x4 is
outside the ensure blocks). With the fix you propose the outcome is either
---> x1 x2 x3 if pressed Abandon or ---> x1 x2 x3 x4 if pressed Proceed -
this would be equivalent to no non-local return at all :)

I hope I'll be able to put the tests together and publish in a few days.

Juan Vuletich showed me a beautiful example about the non-local return
semantics - take a look in [1] in the middle of the post.

Thanks for discussing this!


[1] [[Cuis-dev\] Unwind mechanism during termination is broken and

^[^ Jaromir
Sent from: http://forum.world.st/Squeak-Dev-f45488.html

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