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ID Datedown Author Topic Subject
  82   20 Nov 2003 Stefan Ritt Implementation of db_check_record()
As Konstantin pointed out correctly, the db_create_record() call is pretty 
heavy since it copies whole structures around the ODB. Therefore, it 
should not used frequently. It might be that several problems are caused 
by that, for example the "phantom" records reported in elog:40 .

I have therefore implemented the function 

db_check_record(HNDLE hDB, HNDLE hKey, char *keyname, char *rec_str, 
                BOOL correct)

which takes an ASCII structure in the same way as db_create_record(), but 
only checks this ASCII structure against the ODB contents without writing 
anything to the ODB. 

If the record does not exist at all, it is created via db_create_record(). 
This is useful for example with the /Runinfo structure on a virgin ODB.

If the parameter "correct" is FALSE, the function returns 
DB_STRUCT_MISMATCH if the ODB contents is wrong (wrong order of variables, 
wrong name of variables, wrong type or array size). The calling function 
should then abort, since a subsequent db_open_record() would fail. Note 
that although abort() is useful, one should add cm_disconnect_experiment() 
just before the abort() in order to have the application "log out" from 
the ODB gracefully. If the parameter "correct" is TRUE, the function 
db_create_record() is called internally to correct a mismatching record.

I have changed most calls of db_create_record() in mhttpd.c, mfe.c, mana.c 
and mlogger.c. Pierre, could you do the same for lazylogger.c?

I also started to put assert()'s everywhere and encourage everyone to 
follow. Under Windows, the asserts() are removed automatically if 
compiling in "Release" mode.

So I committed many changes, did some quick tests, but am not 100% 
convinced that all the changes are good. So please use the new code 
cautiously, and let me know if there is any new problem. I also would like 
to get some feedback if the whole thing becomes more stable now.
  106   17 Nov 2003 Pierre-André Amaudruz Lazylogger application
- Remove temporary "/Programs/Lazy" creation.
- Fix Rate calculation for Web display.
- Change FTP channel description (see help).
  98   17 Nov 2003 Stefan Ritt Revised MVMESTD
Let me propose a revised scheme for midas standard VME calls (mvmestd.h). 

Pierre mentioned some limitations before, and I find now also some fields 
to improve. Right now, the vme_open() call retrieves a handle. For some 
interfaces (like SBS/Bit3), one has to obtain separate handles for 
different addressing modes A24D32/A32D32 and so on, which I find a bit 
troublesome. I would rather keep the handle internally, invisible to the 
user, and use ioctl() statments to change the address/data mode. 

So the API could look like:

vme_open()       Deprecated, will be removed
vme_init(void)   Standard initialization, open device(s), stores handles
                 internally in a table
vme_exit(void)   Deallocates any memory, close handles

vme_read(void *dst, DWORD vme_addr, DWORD size)
vme_write(void *src, DWORD vme_addr, DWORD size)

vme_ioctl(int request, int *param)

                 Request is one of 
                   VME_IOCTL_CRATE_SET/GET
                     Sets VME crate (in case several interfaces are
                     plugged into singlePC, meaningless for embedded CPUs)
                   VME_IOCTL_DEST_SET/GET
                     VME_BUS/VME_RAM/VME_LM for VME bus, RAM in VME 
                     interface, or LM for local memory (used in Bit3 
                     interface)
                   VME_IOCTL_AMOD_SET/GET
                     Sets/Retrieves VME AMOD (= VME_AMOD_xxx as currently
                     defined in mvmestd.h)
                   VME_IOCTL_DSIZE_SET/GET
                     Sets/Retrieves VME data size (D8/D16/D32/D64)
                   VME_IOCTL_DMA_SET/GET
                     Enable/Disable DMA, should be independent of AMOD
                   VME_IOCTL_INTR_ATTACH/DETACH/ENABLE/DISABLE
                     Set VME interrupts
                   VME_IOCTL_AUTO_INCR_SET/GET
                     Set autoincremet of source pointer, can be disabled
                     for FIFO readout

vme_mmap(void **ptr, DWORD vme_addr, DWORD size)
vme_unmap(void *ptr, DWORD size)
                  Map/Unmap VME to local memory

vme_read2(void *dst, DWORD vme_addr, DWORD size, DWORD flags)
vme_write2(void *src, DWORD vme_addr, DWORD size, DWORD flags)
                 With these functions one can directly specify the flags
                 usually managed by vme_ioctl(). Usefule for applications
                 where the address modifier for example has to be
                 different in each read/write operation.  

Note that the vme_read/write functions do not have a VME handle any more, 
nor an address modifier. This is all accomplished with vme_ioctl() calls.

Please have a look at this proposal, compare it with what you do currently 
in VME, and let me know if we should add/modify something. I volunteer to 
implement the API for the SBS/Bit3 617 and the Struck SIS1100/3100 
interfaces, for VxWorks somebody at TRIUMF should take care.
  104   16 Nov 2003 Stefan Ritt Phantom
I have seen the same behaviour and it annoys me, too. What I did in the past 
is a "cleanup" in ODBEdit which removes these open records. I have soem code 
in cm_watchdog(), which should take care of that. If a client is dead, it 
gets removed from the ODB, and its open records should get its notify_count 
decremented. So obviously this code has some bug. I plan to do in the 
following week (now I got some spare time) the following:

- exchange most db_create_record() by something better. Maybe 
db_check_record(..., correct_flag), which creates the record only if it does 
not exist at all, otherwise checks the structure. If correct_flag is TRUE, it 
corrects the strucure (by calling db_create_record()), if it's false it just 
returns an error code. This way one can decide from case to case which option 
is better. Like for the /Runinfo, the flag would be FALSE, maybe with a 
notification that the /Runinfo is different from the compiled-in structure, 
and one hast to recompile the application.

- revisit the open record issue from dying frontends. I remember vaguely that 
I tried to kill a frontend (kill -9), wait until the watchdog cleans up its 
entries, and it worked fine. So it's more the problem to reproduce the issue 
described in the previous elog entry. 
  103   15 Nov 2003 Konstantin Olchanski Phantom "open records"
Sometimes (maybe after a client uncleanly exits?), I see phantom "open
records", for example:
[local:twist:Running]Gas>sor
/Equipment/Gas/Common open 2 times by fe1hp 
/Equipment/Gas/Variables open 1 times by Logger 
/Equipment/Gas/Variables/Flow1 open 2 times by uBeamTcl1 uBeamTcl 
/Equipment/Gas/Settings/Command open 2 times by fe1hp 
/Equipment/Gas/Statistics open 1 times by 

Note the blank client name in the "/Equipment/Gas/Statistics" line.

This causes these warnings from mfe.c:
Cannot init equipment record, probably other FE is using it
Cannot delete statistics record, error 320
Cannot create statistics record, error 320
Cannot open statistics record, error 318. Probably other FE is using it

Then the number of generated events for this front end is never incremented.

Also attempts to delete this "open" record fail:
[local:twist:Running]Gas>del /Equipment/Gas/Statistics
Are you sure to delete the key
"/Equipment/Gas/Statistics"
and all its subkeys? (y/[n]) y
key is open by other client

How do I go about writing the db_validate_xxx() code to cleanup this
bogosity? I am not too familiar with the implementation of "open record"...

K.O.
  110   14 Nov 2003 Stefan Ritt more odb
Ok, I apologize. It's all ok. Thanks for clearifying. Concerning the assert's, it 
would be nice to be able to disable them in release code. Under Windows, the 
assert() is actually a macro which expands to zero if NDEBUG is defined. I 
believe it's the same under linux, but I don't know about VxWorks. So we have 
three options:

1) Keep asserts always. This might possible slow down a DAQ system, but I'm not 
sure how much. Might be negligible.

2) Disable asserts by default (standard make). Only the "experts" can enable it 
in the make file (by removing NDEBUG), since only they know what to do with the 
assertation messages.

3) Let the user decide on the standard installation. Maybe have two libraries, 
one debug, one no-debug. The no-debug can even have the compiler optimization 
disabled, which makes debugging easier.

So what is your opinion (comments from others are welcome as well) of which way 
to go? 
  113   01 Nov 2003 Konstantin Olchanski Do not frob
> > I found where we tickle the race condition in db_create_record().
> The reason for the db_create_record() is the following: Assume that we change 
> the /runinfo structure...

I think there is a deep fundamental problem with changing data structures "on the
fly". Calling db_create_record("/runinfo") at every show_status_page() does not
fix it.

If I change the runinfo structure, rebuild, relink and restart "mhttpd", the
db_create_record("/runinfo") from cm_connect_experiment() will update the runinfo
structure in ODB. In this case, the call from show_status_page() is redundant. As
a side effect, when we do this, we break every running ODB client- they still
have the old runinfo layout. Not good...

If I change the runinfo structure, rebuild, relink and restart all applications,
*except* for mhttpd, "/runinfo" in ODB will be updated when the first updated
client connects to ODB via the db_create_record("/runinfo") from
cm_connect_experiment(). Then, the old mhttpd will restore the old layout via the 
db_create_record("/runinfo") in show_status_page(), breaking everything. Not good...

If I change the runinfo structure, rebuild, relink and restart everything,
"/runinfo" in ODB will be updated when the first client connects to ODB via the
db_create_record("/runinfo") from cm_connect_experiment(). In this case, the call
from show_status_page() is redundant. This is the only corruption-free scenario.

This lack of integrity enforcement vs version skew in binary data structures is,
I think, an ODB design error. Perhaps, ODB applications should be prohibited from
 direct access to ODB "C" data structures: we cannot ensure that the data layout
in the application and in ODB are the same.

> One could think of checking the record size, and re-creating the runinfo if 
> the ODB record size does not match the C record size. But this does not 
> prevent the potential error that some variable are reversed in order. They 
> are then mapped wrongly to the C runinfo structure.

Exacto.

> I see that you work very hard now on all possible checks for the run number. 
> But I would not commit that and make it part of the distribution...

This is a philosophical issue.

My checks are in line with the "design by contract" school of programming. In a
nutshell, this ideology requires that before I do anything, I should enforce the
validity of my inputs and after I am done, I should enforce the validity of my
outputs. In practice, this translates into liberal use of assert()'s *in
production code*.

To ensure that old bugs stay fixed, and that new bugs are promptly discovered, it
is essential that the "contract checks" stay in the production code forever.

But let better writers argue programming philosophy in the literature.

Personally, when hunting down bugs in unstable code, I find this technique to be
vastly superior to the more common appoach of "This program has no bugs. Error
checking and assert()s are wasteful. Let's close our eyes and hope no bad things
happen to us (again)".

> But if you start now, please put [asserts] in all other 100000 places (;-)

I know that no good deed goes unpunished, but pewleeze!!!

> If you cannot resolve your zero run number problem, do the following: ...
> [lock ODB, freeze the experiment, look at log files]

This technique is obsolete. Today, we instrument the code with sanity checks
and validity tests. Then all the bugs find themselves with minimal manual
intervention.

K.O.
  116   01 Nov 2003 Konstantin Olchanski mana.c without ROOT and HBOOK
> > Stephan, why did you prohibit building mana.c without ROOT and HBOOK
> > support? I think such a configuration is valid and should be allowed.
> 
> Oops, sorry, my fault. I forgto that people use mana.c without ROOT and 
> HBOOK. The reason I made the change was that people forgot the -DHVAE_HBOOK 
> in their makefile. In that case, no HBOOK init is done in mana.c and the 
> first histogram booking in the user code crashes HBOOK.

Ahem. There is only so much rope we can give out to prevent people from shooting
themselves in the foot...

> So please take the #error statement out of mana.c

Done.

> One possibility is that we put an additional layer on top of the histogram 
> boooking/filling. These macros are converted to their HBOOK or ROOT 
> equivalents depending on the HAVE_HBOOK/HAVE_ROOT. If none of both is 
> present, the histogram booking macro can produce a runtime error. This has 
> the additional advantage that users can switch from HBOOK to ROOT without 
> change of their user code.

I can't think of anything other than wrapping every HBOOK call with "if
(!hbook_is_initialized) initialize_hbook();". But then, where is PAWC
coming from anyway?!?

We could also print a warning message "This mana.c has no HBOOK support. If you
see HBOOK crashes, please relink with hmana,c". Ugly, but informative, plus it
points anybody who knows how to read towards a solution.

K.O.
  109   01 Nov 2003 Konstantin Olchanski more odb
> > I added error checking to the places where we read "/runinfo/run number". 
> Now YOU broke the system by editing all these files with something I consider 
> temporary debugging code. A run number of zero is *VALILD*.

I think I broke nothing. I do know that run number 0 is a valid odb value. Here
is an audit of all places where I abort on invalid run numbers:

mana.c: line 3676: assert(current_run_number > 0);
we take the run number from an event and write it into ODB. Events cannot have
run number negative or zero.

mana.c:analyze_run(): line 4632: assert(run_number > 0);
we are asked to analyze run "run_number". zero or negative is not valid.

midas.c:assert(run_number > old_run_number);
midas.c:assert(run_number > 1);
this code is not in CVS.

odbedit.c: line 2563: assert(old_run_number >= 0);
run number zero is valid

odbedit.c: line 2641: assert(new_run_number > 0);
starting a new run number zero is not valid

mfe.c: line 1786: if (run_number<=0) cm_msg(MERROR, "main", "aborting on attempt
to use invalid run number %d", run_number);
auto restart from run 0 to 1 is not valid

midas.c: line 3917: if (run_number<=0) cm_msg(MERROR, "cm_transition", "aborting
on attempt to use invalid run number %d",run_number);
transition to run zero or negative is not valid

midas.c: line 16101: if (run_number<0) cm_msg(MERROR, "el_submit", "aborting on
attempt to use invalid run number %d", run_number);
negative run numbers are not valid

mlogger.c: line 3301: if (run_number<=0) cm_msg(MERROR, "main", "aborting on
attempt to use invalid run number %d", run_number);
auto restart from run 0 to run 1 is not valid

K.O.
  108   01 Nov 2003 Stefan Ritt more odb
> I added error checking to the places where we read "/runinfo/run number". In
> general, I do this:

> Affected files:
> src/lazylogger.c
> src/odbedit.c
> src/mlogger.c
> src/mfe.c
> src/odb.c
> src/mana.c
> src/midas.c
> src/mhttpd.c

Now YOU broke the system by editing all these files with something I consider 
temporary debugging code. A run number of zero is *VALILD*. If I want to make 
sure a new experiment starts with run number #1, I put a run number of 0 into 
the ODB. So on the first start the number is incremented by one which results 
in run number from one. So please remove those checks which prevents me of 
doing that. Again, your "run number zero" problem is soemhow specific to your 
environment, and I would not put all these tests into the distribution, 
because this can have side effects, like that one I described above.

- Stefan
  112   01 Nov 2003 Stefan Ritt Do not frob
> I found where we tickle the race condition in db_create_record().
> 
> 1) in mhttpd.c,  every time we show the status page, we call
> db_create_record(hDB, 0, "/Runinfo", strcomb(runinfo_str));
> 2) internally db_create_record() deletes /RunInfo
> 3) other programs read "/runinfo/run number" while it is deleted do not
> check for the db_get_value() error code and happily get a zero run number.
> 
> Stephan fixed the race condition, and now I commited an mhttpd.c change that
> only calls db_create_record(hDB, 0, "/Runinfo", strcomb(runinfo_str)); if
> /runinfo does not exist. This seems to be redundant with a similar call in
> cm_connect_experiment1(), called each time a new client starts up.

The reason for the db_create_record() is the following: Assume that we change 
the /runinfo structure, by adding an additional variable in the future. If we 
run a "new" mhttpd on an "old" experiment, the "runinfo" C structure does not 
match the ODB contents. The db_create_record() ensures that the ODB structure 
exactly matches the C structure. I agree with you that this can cause 
potential problems. But most of them should be fixed by the additional lock() 
I added recently. So other programs cannot read the run number while it is 
deleted.

One could think of checking the record size, and re-creating the runinfo if 
the ODB record size does not match the C record size. But this does not 
prevent the potential error that some variable are reversed in order. They 
are then mapped wrongly to the C runinfo structure.

I see that you work very hard now on all possible checks for the run number. 
But I would not commit that and make it part of the distribution, since all 
experiments at PSI for example do not have this run number problem. Run it 
locally, determine the cause of your problem (the discovery of the race 
condition was already very good, I'm glad that your found it, should make the 
system much more stable), and we'll fix it. Puttin ASSERT's is a good idea, I 
should have done it from the very beginning. But if you start now, please put 
it in all other 100000 places (;-)

I would not add a db_get_value_cannot_possibly_fail() into the standard 
distribution, because it probably cannot correct the initial problem and then 
just will go into an infinite loop. We should tackle problems always at their 
source. 

If you cannot resolve your zero run number problem, do the following: There 
is a cm_msg(MDEBUG, ...) which only puts a message into the shared memory, 
but not in midas.log. This can be used for real time debugging. Add those 
message temporarily in db_get_value() etc. to see what is going on. As soon 
as the run number goes to zero, stop all processes immediately (for example 
by locking the database with db_lock_database), and the look backwards in the 
sysmsg buffer to see what happened *before* the run number went to zero.

- Stefan
  115   01 Nov 2003 Stefan Ritt mana.c without ROOT and HBOOK
> Stephan, why did you prohibit building mana.c without ROOT and HBOOK
> support? I think such a configuration is valid and should be allowed.

Oops, sorry, my fault. I forgto that people use mana.c without ROOT and 
HBOOK. The reason I made the change was that people forgot the -DHVAE_HBOOK 
in their makefile. In that case, no HBOOK init is done in mana.c and the 
first histogram booking in the user code crashes HBOOK.

So please take the #error statement out of mana.c (I'm away in two hours for 
one week), but think about preventing the above mentionend problem. I don't 
know any way for the makefile or mana.c to figure out if there is any HF1 
call in the user code. Actually HF1 should return a "proper" error message 
than just crashing.

One possibility is that we put an additional layer on top of the histogram 
boooking/filling. These macros are converted to their HBOOK or ROOT 
equivalents depending on the HAVE_HBOOK/HAVE_ROOT. If none of both is 
present, the histogram booking macro can produce a runtime error. This has 
the additional advantage that users can switch from HBOOK to ROOT without 
change of their user code.
  111   31 Oct 2003 Konstantin Olchanski Do not frob "/runinfo" in mhttpd.c
I found where we tickle the race condition in db_create_record().

1) in mhttpd.c,  every time we show the status page, we call
db_create_record(hDB, 0, "/Runinfo", strcomb(runinfo_str));
2) internally db_create_record() deletes /RunInfo
3) other programs read "/runinfo/run number" while it is deleted do not
check for the db_get_value() error code and happily get a zero run number.

Stephan fixed the race condition, and now I commited an mhttpd.c change that
only calls db_create_record(hDB, 0, "/Runinfo", strcomb(runinfo_str)); if
/runinfo does not exist. This seems to be redundant with a similar call in
cm_connect_experiment1(), called each time a new client starts up.

Files changed:
src/mhttpd.c

K.O.
  107   31 Oct 2003 Konstantin Olchanski more odb "run number" error checking
I added error checking to the places where we read "/runinfo/run number". In
general, I do this:

  status = db_get_value("/runinfo/run number",&run_number);
  assert(status==SUCCESS);
  assert(run_number >= 0); (and run_number>0, where appropriate)

Here is the rationale: if we cannot read the run number, something must be
very terribly wrong. I cannot think of any recovery action other than
abort() and make a core dump for our debugging enjoyment.

I considered and rejected adding a "retry" loop: if we allow db_get_value()
to intermittently fail, then it's every use has to be wrapped in a retry
loop, which then should be inside db_get_value(), making it pointless to
have external "retry" loops.

I am now pondering on proposing a "db_get_value_cannot_possibly_fail()"
function (it would abort(), exit() with an error or commit harakiri if it
can't get the value). They way most db_xxx() functions are used in midas,
maybe they should be made "void" and "unfailible", with "STATUS
db_xxx_yes_I_can_fail_and_return_an_error_code()" evil twins. I guess this
is why "they" invented C/C++ exceptions. Anyway, something to think about.

Affected files:
src/lazylogger.c
src/odbedit.c
src/mlogger.c
src/mfe.c
src/odb.c
src/mana.c
src/midas.c
src/mhttpd.c

K.O.
  117   31 Oct 2003 Konstantin Olchanski Disable "tab"s in xemacs
The default C indentation style in xemacs uses "tab" characters, violating
the MIDAS coding convention. To disable this misfeature in xemacs (emacs
too?), put this incantation in your .xemacs/custom.el file:

(custom-set-variables
 '(indent-tabs-mode nil))

K.O.
  114   31 Oct 2003 Konstantin Olchanski mana.c without ROOT and HBOOK
Stephan, why did you prohibit building mana.c without ROOT and HBOOK
support? I think such a configuration is valid and should be allowed.

Also, this prohibition broke the Midas Makefile, it now bombs building
mana.c. The Makefile is setup for building hmana.c with HBOOK support,
rmana.c with ROOT support (if ROOTSYS is set) and mana.c without HBOOK and
ROOT support (currently bombs on #error in mana.c).

K.O.
  118   30 Oct 2003 Stefan Ritt Fixed several potential problems for ODB corruption
I just realized that db_set_value, db_set_data, db_set_num_values and 
db_merge_data do not check for num_values == 0. With such a parameter the 
ODB can become corrupted, since zero length ODB entries are not allowed. I 
fixed the according places in odb.c and committed the changes. Everyone 
with ODB corruption problems should update that code.
  119   30 Oct 2003 Stefan Ritt 'umask' added to lazylogger for FTP connections
I had to add a 'umask' opiton to the loggers (lazy and mlogger) for the new 
PSI archive. One can now put a filename into the settings like:

archive,21,user,pw,dir,run%05d.mid,026

where the optional last parameter is used for a "umask 026" command just 
sent to the FTP server after the connection has been established. This 
changes the mode bits of the newly transferred file. We needed that so that 
the files are group readable, since several people from one group want to 
read the data.

I committed mlogger.c and ybos.c which contains the ftp code (should 
actually go into lazylogger.c instead of ybos.c).
  121   28 Oct 2003 Stefan Ritt Updated thread functions
> ss_thread_create now returns the thread ID on success, and zero on failure.
> Previously returned SS_SUCCESS or SS_NO_THREAD. User must now test the
> return value to determine result.
> 
> ss_thread_kill added to kill the passed thread ID. Returns SS_SUCCESS or
> SS_NO_THREAD.
> 
> Any thread creation must be verified now, and old code must be examined to
> ensure the return value is checked.

Thank you for that post. Internally, threads are not use in midas, so there 
should be no problem. Only experiments using threads explicitly should take 
care.
  120   16 Oct 2003 David Morris Updated thread functions
ss_thread_create now returns the thread ID on success, and zero on failure.
Previously returned SS_SUCCESS or SS_NO_THREAD. User must now test the
return value to determine result.

ss_thread_kill added to kill the passed thread ID. Returns SS_SUCCESS or
SS_NO_THREAD.

Any thread creation must be verified now, and old code must be examined to
ensure the return value is checked.
ELOG V3.1.4-2e1708b5