Subject: Re: Netscape 2.0beta1 - Port of HotJava to FreeBSD and NetBSD More Usefull?
To: None <email@example.com>
From: Pete Delaney <pete@RockyMountain.rahul.net>
Date: 10/14/1995 15:44:30
> > > > I heard there was some fairly good progress being made on a Linux port.
> > > > Is this true? Because if the Linux people have a working version, then a
> > > > FreeBSD/NetBSD version would be almost trivial from there.
> > >
> > > Not so. According to Linus (and Alan Cox), Linux has kernel
> > > multithreading.
> > I suppose a thread library, like SusOS has, is likely necessary, but I
> > really doubt kernel multithreading is necessary. Any bets?
> Sun's multithreading as of Solaris is a kernl/user space cooperative
> model, with n kernel threads being mapped to m user space threads
> (m >= n).
Sure for Slowaris this approach makes sense, but Slowaris runs noticably
lower on sun4c that SunOS does. The added flexabilty of SMP in the kernel
forces a non-trivial performance impact on the kernel. Pyramid used macros
that only kicked in if compiled for SMP, this avoids the problem if done
carefully. Etherway, SMP is a lot of work.
> So the only real threading on Solaris is kernel.
Sure, but since most hackers will likely be using old Sun4c's, which cost
from $100 to $400 for the CPU board, I doubt the performance penality for SMP
is worth it for most FreeBSD users. Besides, waiting to get SMP working delays
porting HotJava, I suspect that it's better to use a thread library like SunOS
> The SunOS LWP library (a purely aioread/aiowrite/aiowait/aiocancel based
> task switcher) is supported via the kernel calls for binaray compatability
> reasons, but an lwp library is not provided for Solaris: you are expected
> to use the kernel thread model.
What do you mean I'm expected to use a kernel thread model? I assume you mean
in the HotJava code. I expect it's far easier to change any dependancies in HotJava
for Kernel bases threads than it is to implement SMP.
> SVR4.2 and above uses the same model.
I read the SVR4.2 docs on SMP, and I found the Sequent SMP cod, which is 4.2
based, much nicer. If we are going to make NetBSD SMP, I wonder if it's worthwhile
to ask Sequent if they would donate their Dynix OS SMP changes, which has been
replace with a SVR4 code base, to the NetBSD community for integration into NetBSD.
In the mean time, I would think porting HotJava from a Linux port might be
worthwhile. I heard from some of the guys at sequent that Sun got Slowaris
faster with help from Cray. Hacking SMP in netbsd is likely a major effort.
How far along is Jack Vogel on his SMP hacks?
> Terry Lambert
> Any opinions in this posting are my own and not those of my present
> or previous employers.