Annotated Ada Reference ManualLegal Information
Contents   Index   References   Search   Previous   Next 

9.5.3 Entry Calls

[An entry_call_statement (an entry call) can appear in various contexts.] A simple entry call is a stand-alone statement that represents an unconditional call on an entry of a target task or a protected object. [Entry calls can also appear as part of select_statements (see 9.7).] 


entry_call_statement ::= entry_name [actual_parameter_part];

Name Resolution Rules

The entry_name given in an entry_call_statement shall resolve to denote an entry. The rules for parameter associations are the same as for subprogram calls (see 6.4 and 6.4.1). 

Static Semantics

[The entry_name of an entry_call_statement specifies (explicitly or implicitly) the target object of the call, the entry or entry family, and the entry index, if any (see 9.5).]

Dynamic Semantics

Under certain circumstances (detailed below), an entry of a task or protected object is checked to see whether it is open or closed:
{AI05-0264-1} An entry of a task is open if the task is blocked on an accept_statement that corresponds to the entry (see 9.5.2), or on a selective_accept (see 9.7.1) with an open accept_alternative that corresponds to the entry; otherwise, it is closed.
{AI05-0264-1} An entry of a protected object is open if the condition of the entry_barrier of the corresponding entry_body evaluates to True; otherwise, it is closed. If the evaluation of the condition propagates an exception, the exception Program_Error is propagated to all current callers of all entries of the protected object. 
Reason: An exception during barrier evaluation is considered essentially a fatal error. All current entry callers are notified with a Program_Error. In a fault-tolerant system, a protected object might provide a Reset protected procedure, or equivalent, to support attempts to restore such a "broken" protected object to a reasonable state. 
Discussion: Note that the definition of when a task entry is open is based on the state of the (accepting) task, whereas the "openness" of a protected entry is defined only when it is explicitly checked, since the barrier expression needs to be evaluated. Implementation permissions are given (below) to allow implementations to evaluate the barrier expression more or less often than it is checked, but the basic semantic model presumes it is evaluated at the times when it is checked. 
For the execution of an entry_call_statement, evaluation of the name and of the parameter associations is as for a subprogram call (see 6.4). The entry call is then issued: For a call on an entry of a protected object, a new protected action is started on the object (see 9.5.1). The named entry is checked to see if it is open; if open, the entry call is said to be selected immediately, and the execution of the call proceeds as follows: 
For a call on an open entry of a task, the accepting task becomes ready and continues the execution of the corresponding accept_statement (see 9.5.2).
For a call on an open entry of a protected object, the corresponding entry_body is executed (see 9.5.2) as part of the protected action. 
If the accept_statement or entry_body completes other than by a requeue (see 9.5.4), return is made to the caller (after servicing the entry queues — see below); any necessary assigning back of formal to actual parameters occurs, as for a subprogram call (see 6.4.1); such assignments take place outside of any protected action. 
Ramification: The return to the caller will generally not occur until the protected action completes, unless some other thread of control is given the job of completing the protected action and releasing the associated execution resource. 
If the named entry is closed, the entry call is added to an entry queue (as part of the protected action, for a call on a protected entry), and the call remains queued until it is selected or cancelled; there is a separate (logical) entry queue for each entry of a given task or protected object [(including each entry of an entry family)].
When a queued call is selected, it is removed from its entry queue. Selecting a queued call from a particular entry queue is called servicing the entry queue. An entry with queued calls can be serviced under the following circumstances: 
When the associated task reaches a corresponding accept_statement, or a selective_accept with a corresponding open accept_alternative;
If after performing, as part of a protected action on the associated protected object, an operation on the object other than a call on a protected function, the entry is checked and found to be open. 
If there is at least one call on a queue corresponding to an open entry, then one such call is selected according to the entry queuing policy in effect (see below), and the corresponding accept_statement or entry_body is executed as above for an entry call that is selected immediately.
The entry queuing policy controls selection among queued calls both for task and protected entry queues. The default entry queuing policy is to select calls on a given entry queue in order of arrival. If calls from two or more queues are simultaneously eligible for selection, the default entry queuing policy does not specify which queue is serviced first. Other entry queuing policies can be specified by pragmas (see D.4).
For a protected object, the above servicing of entry queues continues until there are no open entries with queued calls, at which point the protected action completes. 
Discussion: While servicing the entry queues of a protected object, no new calls can be added to any entry queue of the object, except due to an internal requeue (see 9.5.4). This is because the first step of a call on a protected entry is to start a new protected action, which implies acquiring (for exclusive read-write access) the execution resource associated with the protected object, which cannot be done while another protected action is already in progress.
For an entry call that is added to a queue, and that is not the triggering_statement of an asynchronous_select (see 9.7.4), the calling task is blocked until the call is cancelled, or the call is selected and a corresponding accept_statement or entry_body completes without requeuing. In addition, the calling task is blocked during a rendezvous.
Ramification: For a call on a protected entry, the caller is not blocked if the call is selected immediately, unless a requeue causes the call to be queued.
An attempt can be made to cancel an entry call upon an abort (see 9.8) and as part of certain forms of select_statement (see 9.7.2, 9.7.3, and 9.7.4). The cancellation does not take place until a point (if any) when the call is on some entry queue, and not protected from cancellation as part of a requeue (see 9.5.4); at such a point, the call is removed from the entry queue and the call completes due to the cancellation. The cancellation of a call on an entry of a protected object is a protected action[, and as such cannot take place while any other protected action is occurring on the protected object. Like any protected action, it includes servicing of the entry queues (in case some entry barrier depends on a Count attribute).] 
Implementation Note: {AI95-00114-01} In the case of an attempted cancellation due to abort, this removal might have to be performed by the calling task itself if the ceiling priority of the protected object is lower than the priority of the task initiating the abort. 
A call on an entry of a task that has already completed its execution raises the exception Tasking_Error at the point of the call; similarly, this exception is raised at the point of the call if the called task completes its execution or becomes abnormal before accepting the call or completing the rendezvous (see 9.8). This applies equally to a simple entry call and to an entry call as part of a select_statement.

Implementation Permissions

An implementation may perform the sequence of steps of a protected action using any thread of control; it need not be that of the task that started the protected action. If an entry_body completes without requeuing, then the corresponding calling task may be made ready without waiting for the entire protected action to complete.
Reason: These permissions are intended to allow flexibility for implementations on multiprocessors. On a monoprocessor, which thread of control executes the protected action is essentially invisible, since the thread is not abortable in any case, and the "current_task" function is not guaranteed to work during a protected action (see C.7.1 C.7).
When the entry of a protected object is checked to see whether it is open, the implementation need not reevaluate the condition of the corresponding entry_barrier if no variable or attribute referenced by the condition (directly or indirectly) has been altered by the execution (or cancellation) of a protected procedure or entry call on the object since the condition was last evaluated. 
Ramification: Changes to variables referenced by an entry barrier that result from actions outside of a protected procedure or entry call on the protected object need not be "noticed." For example, if a global variable is referenced by an entry barrier, it should not be altered (except as part of a protected action on the object) any time after the barrier is first evaluated. In other words, globals can be used to "parameterize" a protected object, but they cannot reliably be used to control it after the first use of the protected object. 
Implementation Note: Note that even if a global variable is volatile, the implementation need only reevaluate a barrier if the global is updated during a protected action on the protected object. This ensures that an entry-open bit-vector implementation approach is possible, where the bit-vector is computed at the end of a protected action, rather than upon each entry call. 
An implementation may evaluate the conditions of all entry_barriers of a given protected object any time any entry of the object is checked to see if it is open. 
Ramification: In other words, any side effects of evaluating an entry barrier should be innocuous, since an entry barrier might be evaluated more or less often than is implied by the "official" dynamic semantics. 
Implementation Note: It is anticipated that when the number of entries is known to be small, all barriers will be evaluated any time one of them needs to be, to produce an "entry-open bit-vector." The appropriate bit will be tested when the entry is called, and only if the bit is false will a check be made to see whether the bit-vector might need to be recomputed. This should allow an implementation to maximize the performance of a call on an open entry, which seems like the most important case.
In addition to the entry-open bit-vector, an "is-valid" bit is needed per object, which indicates whether the current bit-vector setting is valid. A "depends-on-Count-attribute" bit is needed per type. The "is-valid" bit is set to false (as are all the bits of the bit-vector) when the protected object is first created, as well as any time an exception is propagated from computing the bit-vector. Is-valid would also be set false any time the Count is changed and "depends-on-Count-attribute" is true for the type, or a protected procedure or entry returns indicating it might have updated a variable referenced in some barrier.
A single procedure can be compiled to evaluate all of the barriers, set the entry-open bit-vector accordingly, and set the is-valid bit to true. It could have a "when others" handler to set them all false, and call a routine to propagate Program_Error to all queued callers.
For protected types where the number of entries is not known to be small, it makes more sense to evaluate a barrier only when the corresponding entry is checked to see if it is open. It isn't worth saving the state of the entry between checks, because of the space that would be required. Furthermore, the entry queues probably want to take up space only when there is actually a caller on them, so rather than an array of all entry queues, a linked list of nonempty entry queues make the most sense in this case, with the first caller on each entry queue acting as the queue header. 
When an attempt is made to cancel an entry call, the implementation need not make the attempt using the thread of control of the task (or interrupt) that initiated the cancellation; in particular, it may use the thread of control of the caller itself to attempt the cancellation, even if this might allow the entry call to be selected in the interim. 
Reason: Because cancellation of a protected entry call is a protected action (which helps make the Count attribute of a protected entry meaningful), it might not be practical to attempt the cancellation from the thread of control that initiated the cancellation. For example, if the cancellation is due to the expiration of a delay, it is unlikely that the handler of the timer interrupt could perform the necessary protected action itself (due to being on the interrupt level). Similarly, if the cancellation is due to an abort, it is possible that the task initiating the abort has a priority higher than the ceiling priority of the protected object (for implementations that support ceiling priorities). Similar considerations could apply in a multiprocessor situation.
28  If an exception is raised during the execution of an entry_body, it is propagated to the corresponding caller (see 11.4).
29  For a call on a protected entry, the entry is checked to see if it is open prior to queuing the call, and again thereafter if its Count attribute (see 9.9) is referenced in some entry barrier. 
Ramification: Given this, extra care is required if a reference to the Count attribute of an entry appears in the entry's own barrier. 
Reason: An entry is checked to see if it is open prior to queuing to maximize the performance of a call on an open entry. 
30  In addition to simple entry calls, the language permits timed, conditional, and asynchronous entry calls (see 9.7.2, 9.7.3, and see 9.7.4). 
Ramification: A task can call its own entries, but the task will deadlock if the call is a simple entry call.
31  The condition of an entry_barrier is allowed to be evaluated by an implementation more often than strictly necessary, even if the evaluation might have side effects. On the other hand, an implementation need not reevaluate the condition if nothing it references was updated by an intervening protected action on the protected object, even if the condition references some global variable that might have been updated by an action performed from outside of a protected action. 


Examples of entry calls: 
Agent.Shut_Down;                      --  see 9.1
Parser.Next_Lexeme(E);                --  see 9.1
Pool(5).Read(Next_Char);              --  see 9.1
Controller.Request(Low)(Some_Item);   --  see 9.1
Flags(3).Seize;                       --  see 9.4

Contents   Index   References   Search   Previous   Next 
Ada-Europe Ada 2005 and 2012 Editions sponsored in part by Ada-Europe