Issue #14038 has been reported by ko1 (Koichi Sasada).

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Feature #14038: Use rb_execution_context_t instead of rb_thread_t to represent execution context
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/14038

* Author: ko1 (Koichi Sasada)
* Status: Open
* Priority: Normal
* Assignee: ko1 (Koichi Sasada)
* Target version: 2.5
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# Summary

This ticket proposes the following three changes.

* (1) Separate `rb_execution_context_t` from `rb_thread_t`.
* (2) Allocate `rb_fiber_t` for each Thread even if Threads don't make Fiber.
* (3) Use `rb_execution_context_t *ec` to represent VM states instead of `rb_thread_t *th`

Current patch is here: 

https://github.com/ruby/ruby/compare/trunk...ko1:sep_con
https://github.com/ruby/ruby/compare/trunk...ko1:sep_con.patch

# Background

Recently Eric Wong introduced `rb_execution_context_t` to represent the "context", state of VM (program counter, stack pointer and so on).

You can find this discussion around this mailing list threads:
`[ ruby-core:81054] Re: [ruby-cvs:65407] normal:r58236 (trunk): thread.c: comments on M:N threading [ci skip]`

Before introduction of `rb_execution_context_t`, VM status are contained by threads (`rb_thread_t`) and we need to copy status from `rb_thread_t` to switch Fiber context. I gathered all of states into `rb_execution_context_t` and now we only need to copy one sequential data `rb_execution_context_t` to switch Fiber context.

# Proposal

## Proposal (1) Separate `rb_execution_context_t` from `rb_thread_t`.

On this ticket I propose to separate `rb_execution_context_t` from `rb_thread_t` and `rb_thread_t` only contains pointer to separated `rb_execution_context_t` data. `rb_execution_context_t` memory are managed by `rb_fiber_t`.

Before:
```
struct rb_thread_t {
  ...;
  rb_execution_context_t ec;
  ...;
}
```

After:
```
struct rb_thread_t {
  ...;
  rb_execution_context_t *ec; /* points rb_fiber_t::ec_body */
  ...;
}
```

With this change, we only need to swap `ec` pointers to switch Fiber context.

## Proposal (2) Allocate `rb_fiber_t` for each Thread even if Threads don't make Fiber.

Now root Fiber (and `rb_fiber_t`) is allocated just after another Fiber is created.
For proposal (1), we need to allocate `rb_fiber_t` to prepare ec body.

We can optimize this allocation with several techniques, but it introduce complexity. So that I allocated `rb_fiber_t` for each thread.

## Proposal (3) Use `rb_execution_context_t *ec` to represent VM states instead of `rb_thread_t *th`

Now many functions accept `rb_thread_t *th` as first argument to represent VM states. For now most of states are in `rb_execution_context_t` so that we need to introduce indirect access `th->ec->...` to access VM states.

To overcome this performance overhead, we need to use `ec` instead of `th` as the first argument.

# Evaluation

Comparison with trunk and modified version, `vm2_fiber_switch` benchmarks 10% speedup (not so big impact).

```
name                    trunk   modified
loop_whileloop2         0.113      0.116
vm2_fiber_switch*       2.500      2.242

Speedup ratio: compare with the result of `trunk' (greater is better)
name                    modified
loop_whileloop2            0.974
vm2_fiber_switch*          1.115
```

However, other micro-benchmarks show slowdown becuase of indirect access I explained at Proposal (3).

```
name              trunk   modified
loop_whileloop    0.436      0.444
vm1_simplereturn* 0.487      0.672

Speedup ratio: compare with the result of `trunk' (greater is better)
name    modified
loop_whileloop      0.981
vm1_simplereturn*   0.726
```

I believe we can improve by "Proposal (3)".

# Foresight

For Guild proposal, context passing by `ec` is important.
I want to introduce many other APIs to accept `ec` as first argument and we don't need to call `GET_THREAD()` or `GET_EC()`, which cause system native thread-local-storage.

I will introduce this patch soon because this patch is only internal changes. Ruby users can't observe any incompatible changes (hopefully).

Thanks,
Koichi



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