I'd like to be able to NOT specify order for some things ...

By: Jukka Larja (roskakori2006.delete@this.gmail.com), March 20, 2021 11:26 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Mark Roulo (nothanks.delete@this.xxx.com) on March 20, 2021 5:49 pm wrote:
> Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org) on March 20, 2021 1:20 pm wrote:
> > Hugo Décharnes (hdecharn.delete@this.outlook.fr) on March 20, 2021 7:34 am wrote:
> > > Having programs delivered in annotated, intermediate representation (IR) would be great.
> >
> > In theory.
> >
> > Not necessarily in practice.
> >
> > Not only do you often have a big optimization problem (look at everybody who has tried
> > it: they pretty much always ended up having a "native mode" fallback for games), but
> > you have a very nasty testing problem, because often the IR is designed by compiler people,
> > and those people are more than happy to talk about "undefined behavior" etc.
> >
> > So the end result will generally be rather under-defined, and then different
> > hardware, and different recompilers will result in different behavior.
> >
> > That happens even with real hardware, but it at least tends to happen less. Partly because
> > the HW people have actually mostly learnt from their mistakes, while in many areas the compiler
> > people have been even more open to "undefined behavior" in the name of performance.
> >
> > Java (and wasm) is actually doing pretty damn well. It's unusually well-specified
> > for an IR (despite issues), it works, it's used, and it's fine.
>
> Were I trying to design some sort of distributable/executable IR-ish format
> I would focus on being able to specify "don't care" about sequencing.
>
> One weakness with the Java Virtual Machine is that loops MUST have an order, even if the iterations are
> independent. In theory a good OoO engine can/might be able to untangle all the artificial dependencies.
> I'd like the ability to just not put in artificial/wrong dependencies that must then be removed.
>
> Maybe there aren't enough of these for "normal" code to be worth while.

We have a system in place to write:

for (...) { doSomethingInBackgroundtask(...); } waitforBackgroundTasks();

A coder suggested we should have this. It was easy enough to add for what we had before, so I added it. Two years later I came across something that could use it, clapped my hands in excitement, and noticed there was a slight problem with the syntax and the code didn't actually compile. Apparently during that time no-one else had tried to use it (the problem with the syntax was minor. Took me less than a minute to fix).

So yeah, I think the problem is it's not actually a very common pattern. It tends to require lot of work to make sure things really can run in parallel. By the time that is done, syntax for actually spawning the individual tasks (functions) and waiting for them to finish is rather minor point.

If very simple things, like finding an item in an array, could be efficiently handled in this way, then sure, there would be more interest. However, spawning tasks has overhead, which I don't see going away with current architectures. I can't imagine an architecture that could run the normal code of "single-threaded spaghetti sprinkled with tiny sections of potentially parallel computing" any better than current ones do (and if I could, it wouldn't change the PS5 and Nintendo Switch we have today anyway).

-JLarja
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TopicPosted ByDate
What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?Moritz2021/03/20 04:21 AM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?Stanislav Shwartsman2021/03/20 05:22 AM
    I like the analysis of current arch presentedMoritz2021/03/20 09:13 AM
    Did you read this old article?Michael S2021/03/21 01:12 AM
  Deliver programs in IRHugo Décharnes2021/03/20 06:34 AM
    Java bytecode and Wasm exist, why invent something else? (NT)Foo_2021/03/20 07:01 AM
      Java bytecode and Wasm exist, why invent something else?Hugo Décharnes2021/03/20 07:55 AM
        Java bytecode and Wasm exist, why invent something else?Foo_2021/03/20 09:50 AM
          Java bytecode and Wasm exist, why invent something else?Hugo Décharnes2021/03/20 11:40 AM
            Java bytecode and Wasm exist, why invent something else?Foo_2021/03/20 03:54 PM
              It's called source code, no?anonymou52021/03/20 11:43 PM
                It's called source code, no?Foo_2021/03/21 04:07 AM
                Thoughts on software distribution formatsPaul A. Clayton2021/03/22 12:45 PM
    Deliver programs in IRJames2021/03/20 10:24 AM
      Deliver programs in IRHugo Décharnes2021/03/20 11:28 AM
        Deliver programs in IRHugo Décharnes2021/03/20 11:36 AM
    Deliver programs in IRLinus Torvalds2021/03/20 12:20 PM
      Deliver programs in IRHugo Décharnes2021/03/20 12:51 PM
      I'd like to be able to NOT specify order for some things ...Mark Roulo2021/03/20 04:49 PM
        I'd like to be able to NOT specify order for some things ...Jukka Larja2021/03/20 11:26 PM
          NOT (unintentionally) specify orderMoritz2021/03/21 05:00 AM
            NOT (unintentionally) specify orderJukka Larja2021/03/22 06:11 AM
              NOT (unintentionally) specify orderMoritz2021/03/22 11:40 AM
                NOT (unintentionally) specify orderJukka Larja2021/03/23 05:26 AM
          I'd like to be able to NOT specify order for some things ...Mark Roulo2021/03/21 08:47 AM
            I'd like to be able to NOT specify order for some things ...Victor Alander2021/03/21 04:14 PM
      Next architecture will start with MLwumpus2021/03/21 11:24 AM
        Next architecture will start with MLLinus Torvalds2021/03/21 01:38 PM
          Maybe SQL was the better example for general purpose machineswumpus2021/03/22 07:33 AM
            Maybe SQL was the better example for general purpose machinesanon2021/03/22 08:10 AM
        Next architecture will start with MLML will move to PIM2021/03/22 02:51 AM
    Deliver programs in IRanon2021/03/21 02:22 AM
      Deliver programs in IRanon22021/03/21 03:52 AM
        Deliver programs in IRrwessel2021/03/21 04:05 AM
          Deliver programs in IRanon22021/03/21 06:08 PM
            Deliver programs in IRrwessel2021/03/21 09:47 PM
              Deliver programs in IRdmcq2021/03/22 03:33 AM
                Deliver programs in IRrwessel2021/03/22 05:27 AM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?Veedrac2021/03/20 10:27 AM
    Cray MTAanon2021/03/20 05:04 PM
      Cray MTAChester2021/03/20 06:54 PM
        Cray MTAVeedrac2021/03/21 12:33 AM
          Cray MTAnoone2021/03/21 08:15 AM
            Cray MTAVeedrac2021/03/21 09:54 AM
    monolithic 3Dwumpus2021/03/21 11:50 AM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?Anon2021/03/20 11:06 PM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?rwessel2021/03/21 04:02 AM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?juanrga2021/03/21 04:46 AM
  Summery so farMoritz2021/03/21 08:45 AM
    Summery so farrwessel2021/03/21 10:23 AM
      not staticMoritz2021/03/26 09:12 AM
        Dynamic meta instruction encoding for instruction window compressionMoritz2021/03/28 02:28 AM
          redistributing the work between static compiler, dynamic compiler, CPUMoritz2021/04/05 02:21 AM
            redistributing the work between static compiler, dynamic compiler, CPUdmcq2021/04/05 08:27 AM
    Summery so farAnon2021/03/21 07:53 PM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?blaine2021/03/21 09:10 AM
    What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?rwessel2021/03/21 10:26 AM
      What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?rwessel2021/03/21 10:34 AM
        What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?blaine2021/03/21 11:55 AM
          What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?rwessel2021/03/21 12:31 PM
      What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?gallier22021/03/21 11:49 PM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?dmcq2021/03/21 02:50 PM
  Microthread/low IPCEtienne Lorrain2021/03/22 02:22 AM
    Microthread/low IPCdmcq2021/03/22 03:24 AM
      Microthread/low IPCEtienne Lorrain2021/03/22 05:10 AM
        Microthread/low IPCdmcq2021/03/22 07:24 AM
    Microthread/low IPCdmcq2021/03/22 03:53 AM
      Microthread/low IPCEtienne Lorrain2021/03/22 04:46 AM
      Microthread/low IPCAnon2021/03/22 04:47 AM
    Microthread/low IPCHeikki Kultala2021/03/22 04:47 PM
      Microthread/low IPCEtienne Lorrain2021/03/23 02:36 AM
        Microthread/low IPCNyan2021/03/24 02:00 AM
          Microthread/low IPCEtienne Lorrain2021/03/24 03:23 AM
      Microthread/low IPCAnon2021/03/23 07:16 AM
        Microthread/low IPCgai2021/03/23 08:37 AM
          Microthread/low IPCAnon2021/03/23 09:17 AM
            Microthread/low IPCdmcq2021/03/23 11:42 AM
  Have you looked at "The Mill CPU" project? (nt)Anon C2021/03/22 05:21 AM
    Have you looked at "The Mill CPU" project? (nt)Moritz2021/03/22 11:13 AM
      Have you looked at "The Mill CPU" project? (nt)Andrew Clough2021/03/22 03:27 PM
        The Mill = vaporwareRichardC2021/03/23 11:47 AM
          The Mill = vaporwareMichael S2021/03/23 12:58 PM
          The Mill = vaporwareCarson2021/03/23 05:17 PM
          The Mill = doomed but interestingAndrew Clough2021/03/24 07:06 AM
            Solution in search of a problemwumpus2021/03/24 07:52 AM
              Solution in search of a problemdmcq2021/03/24 09:22 AM
          never-ware != vaporware (at least in connotation)Paul A. Clayton2021/03/24 09:37 AM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?anonini2021/03/22 07:28 AM
    microcode that can combine instructionMoritz2021/03/22 11:26 AM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?anony2021/03/22 09:16 AM
    Totally clueless.Heikki Kultala2021/03/22 04:53 PM
  Hierarchical instruction setHeikki Kultala2021/03/22 05:52 PM
    Hierarchical instruction setVeedrac2021/03/23 02:49 AM
      Hierarchical instruction setHeikki Kultala2021/03/23 05:46 AM
        Hierarchical instruction setEtienne Lorrain2021/03/23 06:16 AM
          microthreads on OS call/exceptionHeikki Kultala2021/03/23 06:34 AM
        Hierarchical instruction setVeedrac2021/03/23 08:31 AM
          Hierarchical instruction setEtienne Lorrain2021/03/24 12:13 AM
            Hierarchical instruction setVeedrac2021/03/24 06:11 AM
    Hierarchical instruction setAnon2021/03/23 07:39 AM
  What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?Paul A. Clayton2021/03/26 07:21 AM
    What are your ideas for a radically different CPU ISA + physical Arch?wumpus2021/03/26 08:45 AM
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