Java thread sanitizer project proposed once again

If approved, the OpenJDK effort would help developers spot data race conditions in the HotSpot JVM and the JVM tool interface

Paul Krill Feb 16th 2019

Java developers would be clued in to race conditions in their projects, if a thread sanitizer proposed comes to fruition.

Project Tsan, proposed in the OpenJDK community, would explore and incubate a thread-sanitizing feature that would be integrated into the HotSpot JVM and the JVM tool interface.

Thread sanitizing would let Java users see data race conditions. With a data race, multiple threads access shared data and try to change it at the same time, leading to erroneous and unexpected behaviors.

The project was proposed by Google’s Jean Christophe Beyler, who said the Google platform team has worked on a thread sanitizer project internally. The Project Tsan thread-sanitizing proposal follows two previous proposals, also by Beyler: In November 2018, he proposed Atlantis, and in July 2018 he proposed Java Thread Sanitizer.

The Tsan project would investigate how Google’s efforts in thread-sanitizing could be made general enough to be pushed into the mainline Java project. There is also the possibility that Google’s efforts would be rejected for being too specific.