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SubjectRe: [PATCH]O14int
On Sat, Aug 09, 2003 at 10:36:17AM +1000, Con Kolivas wrote:

> On Sat, 9 Aug 2003 06:08, Voluspa wrote:
> > On 2003-08-08 15:49:25 Con Kolivas wrote:
> > > More duck tape interactivity tweaks
> >
> > Do you have a premonition... Game-test goes down in flames. Volatile to
> > the extent where I can't catch head or tail. It can behave like in
> > A3-O12.2 or as an unpatched 2.6.0-test2. Trigger badness by switching to
> > a text console.
>
> Ah. There's the answer. You've totally changed the behaviour of the
> application in question by moving to the text console. No longer is it the
> sizable cpu hog that it is when it's in the foreground on X, so you've
> totally changed it's behaviour and how it is treated.

I haven't been following this as closely as I would have liked to
(recent vacation and all), but I am definitely seeing issues with the
recent 2.5.x, 2.6.x-testx secheduler code and have been looking over
these threads.

I don't really understand why these changes were made at all to the
scheduler. As I understand it, the 2.2.x and older 2.4.x scheduler was
simple in that it allowed any process to wake up if it had available
ticks, and would switch to that process if any new event occurred and
woke it up. The rest was just limiting the ticks based on nice value
and remembering to switch when the ticks run out.

It seems that newer schedulers are now temporarily postponing the
waking up of other processes when the running process is running with
"preemptive" ticks, and that there's all sorts of hacks involved in
trying to hide the bad effects of this decision.

If this is indeed what is going on, what is the reasoning behind it?
I didn't really see any problems before with the simple scheduler, so
it seems to me like this may just be a hack to make poorly-written
applications seem to be a bit "faster" by starving other processes of
CPU when the poorly-written applications decide they want to do
something (such as rendering a page with a large table in Mozilla
-- grr). Is this really making a large enough difference to be worth
all of this trouble?

To me it would seem the best algorithm would be what we had before all
of this started. Isn't it best to switch to a task as soon as an event
(such as disk I/O finishing or a mouse move waking up X to read mouse
input) occurs for both latency and cache reasons (queued in LIFO
order)? DMA may make some this more complicated, I don't know.

I am seeing similar starvation problems that others are seeing in these
threads. At first it was whenever I clicked a link in Mozilla -- xmms
would stop, sometimes for a second or so, on a Celeron 466 MHz machine.
More recently I found that loading a web page consisting of several
large animated gif images (a security camera web page) caused
absolutely horrible jerking of mouse and keyboard input in all other
windows, even when the browser window was minimized or hidden. What's
worse is the jerking tends to subside if I do a lot of typing or more
the mouse a lot, probably because I'm changing the scheduler's idea of
what "kind" of processes are running (which makes this stuff even
harder to debug).

Simon-
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