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Feature #18020

open

Introduce `IO::Buffer` for fiber scheduler.

Added by ioquatix (Samuel Williams) 4 months ago. Updated 7 days ago.

Status:
Open
Priority:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Target version:
-
[ruby-core:104481]

Description

After continuing to build out the fiber scheduler interface and the specific hooks required for io_uring, I found some trouble within the implementation of IO.

I found that in some cases, we need to read into the internal IO buffers directly. I tried creating a "fake string" in order to transit back into the Ruby fiber scheduler interface and this did work to a certain extent, but I was told we cannot expose fake string to Ruby scheduler interface.

So, after this, and many other frustrations with using String as a IO buffer, I decided to implement a low level IO::Buffer based on my needs for high performance IO, and as part of the fiber scheduler interface.

Here is roughly the interface implemented by the scheduler w.r.t. the buffer:

class Scheduler
  # @parameter buffer [IO::Buffer] Buffer for reading into.
  def io_read(io, buffer, length)
    # implementation provided by `read` system call, IO_URING_READV, etc.
  end

  # @parameter buffer [IO::Buffer] Buffer for writing from.
  def io_write(io, buffer, length)
    # implementation provided by `write` system call, IO_URING_WRITEV, etc.
  end

  # Potential new hooks (Socket#recvmsg, sendmsg, etc):
  def io_recvmsg(io, buffer, length)
  end
end

In reviewing other language designs, I found that this design is very similar to Crystal's IO buffering strategy.

The proposed implementation provides enough of an interface to implement both native schedulers as well as pure Ruby schedulers. It also provides some extra functionality for interpreting the data in the buffer. This is mostly for testing and experimentation, although it might make sense to expose this interface for binary protocols like HTTP/2, QUIC, WebSockets, etc.

Proposed Solution

We introduce new class IO::Buffer.

class IO::Buffer
  # @returns [IO::Buffer] A buffer with the contents of the string data.
  def self.for(string)
  end

  PAGE_SIZE = # ... operating system page size

  # @returns [IO::Buffer] A buffer with the contents of the file mapped to memory.
  def self.map(file)
  end

  # Flags for buffer state.
  EXTERNAL = # The buffer is from external memory.
  INTERNAL = # The buffer is from internal memory (malloc).
  MAPPED = # The buffer is from mapped memory (mmap, VirtualAlloc, etc)
  LOCKED = # The buffer is locked for usage (cannot be resized)
  PRIVATE = # The buffer is mapped as copy-on-write.
  IMMUTABLE = # The buffer cannot be modified.

  # @returns [IO::Buffer] A buffer with the specified size, allocated according to the given flags.
  def initialize(size, flags)
  end

  # @returns [Integral] The size of the buffer
  attr :size

  # @returns [String] A brief summary and hex dump of the buffer.
  def inspect
  end

  # @returns [String] A brief summary of the buffer.
  def to_s
  end

  # Flag predicates:
  def external?
  end

  def internal?
  end

  def mapped?
  end

  def locked?
  end

  def immutable?
  end

  # Flags for endian/byte order:
  LITTLE_ENDIAN = # ...
  BIG_ENDIAN = # ...
  HOST_ENDIAN = # ...
  NETWORK_ENDIAN= # ...

  # Lock the buffer (prevent resize, unmap, changes to base and size).
  def lock
    raise "Already locked!" if flags & LOCKED

    flags |= LOCKED
  end

  # Unlock the buffer.
  def unlock
    raise "Not locked!" unless flags & LOCKED

    flags |= ~LOCKED
  end

  // Manipulation:
  # @returns [IO::Buffer] A slice of the buffer's data. Does not copy.
  def slice(offset, length)
  end

  # @returns [String] A binary string starting at offset, length bytes.
  def to_str(offset, length)
  end

  # Copy the specified string into the buffer at the given offset.
  def copy(string, offset)
  end

  # Compare two buffers.
  def <=>(other)
  end

  include Comparable

  # Resize the buffer, preserving the given length (if non-zero).
  def resize(size, preserve = 0)
  end

  # Clear the buffer to the specified value.
  def clear(value = 0, offset = 0, length = (@size - offset))
  end

  # Data Types:
  # Lower case: little endian.
  # Upper case: big endian (network endian).
  #
  # :U8        | unsigned 8-bit integer.
  # :S8        | signed 8-bit integer.
  #
  # :u16, :U16 | unsigned 16-bit integer.
  # :s16, :S16 | signed 16-bit integer.
  #
  # :u32, :U32 | unsigned 32-bit integer.
  # :s32, :S32 | signed 32-bit integer.
  #
  # :u64, :U64 | unsigned 64-bit integer.
  # :s64, :S64 | signed 64-bit integer.
  #
  # :f32, :F32 | 32-bit floating point number.
  # :f64, :F64 | 64-bit floating point number.

  # Get the given data type at the specified offset.
  def get(type, offset)
  end

  # Set the given value as the specified data type at the specified offset.
  def set(type, offset, value)
  end
end

The C interface provides a few convenient methods for accessing the underlying data buffer:

void rb_io_buffer_get_mutable(VALUE self, void **base, size_t *size);
void rb_io_buffer_get_immutable(VALUE self, const void **base, size_t *size);

In the fiber scheduler, it is used like this:

VALUE
rb_fiber_scheduler_io_read_memory(VALUE scheduler, VALUE io, void *base, size_t size, size_t length)
{
    VALUE buffer = rb_io_buffer_new(base, size, RB_IO_BUFFER_LOCKED);

    VALUE result = rb_fiber_scheduler_io_read(scheduler, io, buffer, length);

    rb_io_buffer_free(buffer);

    return result;
}

This function is invoked from io.c at various places to fill the buffer. We specifically the (base, size) tuple, along with length which is the minimum length required and assists with efficient non-blocking implementation.

The uring.c implementation in the event gem uses this interface like so:

VALUE Event_Backend_URing_io_read(VALUE self, VALUE fiber, VALUE io, VALUE buffer, VALUE _length) {
    struct Event_Backend_URing *data = NULL;
    TypedData_Get_Struct(self, struct Event_Backend_URing, &Event_Backend_URing_Type, data);

    int descriptor = RB_NUM2INT(rb_funcall(io, id_fileno, 0));

    void *base;
    size_t size;
    rb_io_buffer_get_mutable(buffer, &base, &size);

    size_t offset = 0;
    size_t length = NUM2SIZET(_length);

    while (length > 0) {
        size_t maximum_size = size - offset;
        int result = io_read(data, fiber, descriptor, (char*)base+offset, maximum_size);

        if (result == 0) {
            break;
        } else if (result > 0) {
            offset += result;
            if ((size_t)result > length) break;
            length -= result;
        } else if (-result == EAGAIN || -result == EWOULDBLOCK) {
            Event_Backend_URing_io_wait(self, fiber, io, RB_INT2NUM(READABLE));
        } else {
            rb_syserr_fail(-result, strerror(-result));
        }
    }

    return SIZET2NUM(offset);
}

Buffer Allocation

The Linux kernel provides some advanced mechanisms for registering buffers for asynchronous I/O to reduce per-operation overhead.

The io_uring_register() system call registers user buffers or files for use in an io_uring(7) instance referenced by fd. Registering files or user buffers allows the kernel to take long term references to internal data structures or create long term mappings of application memory, greatly reducing per-I/O overhead.

With appropriate support, we can use IORING_OP_PROVIDE_BUFFERS to efficiently manage buffers in applications which are dealing with lots of sockets. See https://lore.kernel.org/io-uring/20200228203053.25023-1-axboe@kernel.dk/T/ for more details about how it works. I'm still exploring the performance implications of this, but the proposed implementation provides sufficient meta-data for us to explore this in real world schedulers.

PR: https://github.com/ruby/ruby/pull/4621

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