Sunday, October 3, 2010

AtomicReference needs immutables

Another post briefly explains AtomicReference + immutable = lockfree.
Can we make do without the immutable guarantee? A subtle but crucial
question that deserves a focused discussion.

Look at the earlier post showing sample code. Now introduce one of the
common loopholes (reference leak for eg) into the Immutable wrapper.
If i succeed with compareAndSet, but another thread actually modifies
my Account object state in the mean time, then i have unknowingly put
into the "global-lookup-table" another thread's data.

Since my method is "committing" this object into the lookup table,
then this method need control on the object state, and should prevent
"brood parasite" like this.

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