I have cc'ed the hackers mail list since that group of developers is
probably better able than I to make suggestions on the best interprocess
communication mechanism to use for this. See
for background on this thread.
I also stopped cc'ing the general list, since this is getting too
detailed for most of the members on that list.
Now to your mail:
Laszlo Hornyak wrote:
> Barry Lind wrote:
>> Does the mechanism you are planning support running any JVM? In my
>> opionion Kaffe isn't good enough to be widely useful. I think you
>> should be able to plugin whatever jvm is best on your platform, which
>> will likely be either the Sun or IBM JVMs.
> Ok, I also had problems with caffe, but it may work. I like it becouse
> it is small (the source is about 6M). As much as I know Java VM`s has a
> somewhat standard native interface called JNI. I use this to start the
> VM, and communicate with it. If you think I should change I will do it,
> but it may take a long time to get the new VM. For then I have to run
This seems like a reasonable approach and should work across different
JVMs. It would probably be a good experiment to try this with the Sun
or IBM jvm at some point to verify. What I was afraid of was that you
were hacking the Kaffe code to perform the integration which would limit
this solution to only using Kaffe.
>> Also, can you explain this a little bit more. How does the jvm
>> process get started? (I would hope that the postgresql server
>> processes would start it when needed, as opposed to requiring that it
>> be started separately.) How does the jvm access these shared memory
>> structures? Since there aren't any methods in the java API to do such
>> things that I am aware of.
> JVM does not. 'the java process' does with simple posix calls. I use
> debian potatoe, on any other posix system it should work, on any other
> somewhat posix compatible system it may work, I am not sure...
>> I don't understand how you do this in java? I must not be
>> understanding something correctly here.
> My failure.
> The 'java request_handler' is not a java function, it is the C
> call_handler in the Postgres side, that is started when a function of
> language 'pljava' is called.
> I made some failure in my previous mail. At home I named the pl/java
> language pl/pizza (something that is not caffe, but well known enough
> :). The application has two running binaries:
> -pizza (which was called 'java process' last time) This is a small C
> program that uses JNI to start VM and call java methods.
> -plpizza.so the shared object that contains the call_handler function.
Just a suggestion: PL/J might be a good name, since as you probably
know it can't be called pl/java because of the trademark restrictions on
the word 'java'.
I am a little concerned about the stability and complexity of having
this '-pizza' program be responsible for handling the calls on the java
side. My concern is that this will need to be a multithreaded program
since multiple backends will concurrently be needing to interact with
multiple java threads through this one program. It might be simpler if
each postgres process directly communicated to a java thread via a tcpip
socket. Then the "-pizza" program would only need to be responsible for
starting up the jvm and creating java threads and sockets for a postgres
process (it would perform a similar role to postmaster for postgres
>>> -when java thread receives the signal, it reads the message(s) from
>>> the queue, and starts some actions. When done it tells postgres with
>>> a signal that it is ready, and it can come for its results. This will
>>> be rewritten see below problems.
>> Are signals the best way to accomplish this?
> I don`t know if it is the best, it is the only way I know :)
> Do you know any other ways?
I don't know, but hopefully someone on the hackers list will chip in
here with a comment.
>>> Threading on the java process side is not done yet, ok, it is not
>>> that hard, I will write it, if it will be realy neccessary.
>> Agreed, this is important.
>> Shouldn't this code use all or most of the logic found in the FE/BE
>> protocol? Why invent and code another mechanism to transfer data when
>> one already exists. (I will admit that the current FE/BE mechanism
>> isn't the ideal choice, but it seems easier to reuse what exists for
>> now and improve on it later).
> Well, I am relatively new to Postgres, and I don`t know these protocols.
> In the weekend I will start to learn it, and in Sunday or Monday I maybe
> I will understand it, if not, next weekend..
>> You didn't mention how you plan to deal with the transaction
>> symantics. So what happens when the pl/java function calls through
>> jdbc back to the server to insert some data? That should happen in
>> the same transaction as the caller correct?
> I don`t think this will be a problem, I have ideas for this. Idea mean:
> I know how I will start it, it may be good, or it may be fataly stupid
> idea, it will turn out when I tried it. Simply: The same way plpizza
> tells pizza the request, pizza can talk back to plpizza. This is planed
> to work with similar mechanism I described last time (shm+signals).
OK, so the same backend process that called the function gets messaged
to process the sql. This should work. However it means you will need a
special version of the jdbc driver that uses this shm+signals
communication mechanism instead of what the current jdbc driver does.
This is something I would be happy to help you with.
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