Why didn’t the looper’s polling loop in the main thread block the main thread?

Time:2022-5-15

Main thread activitythread [source code]

public static void main(String[] args) {
    Trace.traceBegin(Trace.TRACE_TAG_ACTIVITY_MANAGER, "ActivityThreadMain");

    // CloseGuard defaults to true and can be quite spammy.  We
    // disable it here, but selectively enable it later (via
    // StrictMode) on debug builds, but using DropBox, not logs.
    CloseGuard.setEnabled(false);

    Environment.initForCurrentUser();

    // Set the reporter for event logging in libcore
    EventLogger.setReporter(new EventLoggingReporter());

    // Make sure TrustedCertificateStore looks in the right place for CA certificates
    final File configDir = Environment.getUserConfigDirectory(UserHandle.myUserId());
    TrustedCertificateStore.setDefaultUserDirectory(configDir);

    Process.setArgV0("<pre-initialized>");

    Looper.prepareMainLooper();

    ActivityThread thread = new ActivityThread();
    thread.attach(false);

    if (sMainThreadHandler == null) {
        sMainThreadHandler = thread.getHandler();
    }

    if (false) {
        Looper.myLooper().setMessageLogging(new
                LogPrinter(Log.DEBUG, "ActivityThread"));
    }

    // End of event ActivityThreadMain.
    Trace.traceEnd(Trace.TRACE_TAG_ACTIVITY_MANAGER);
    Looper.loop();

    throw new RuntimeException("Main thread loop unexpectedly exited");
}

You can lock this sentence:

 Looper.prepareMainLooper();

Then look at the source code of this piece:

/**
     * Initialize the current thread as a looper, marking it as an
     * application's main looper. The main looper for your application
     * is created by the Android environment, so you should never need
     * to call this function yourself.  See also: {@link #prepare()}
     *Initialize the current thread as looper and mark it as
     *The main loop program of the application. The main loop of your application
     *Created by the Android environment, so you never need to
     *Call this function yourself. See also: {@ link #prepare()}
     */
        public static void prepareMainLooper() {
        prepare(false);
        synchronized (Looper.class) {
            if (sMainLooper != null) {
                throw new IllegalStateException("The main Looper has already been prepared.");
            }
            sMainLooper = myLooper();
        }
    }

    /**
     * Returns the application's main looper, which lives in the main thread of the application.
     *Returns the main loop program of the application, which is located in the main thread of the application.
     */
    public static Looper getMainLooper() {
        synchronized (Looper.class) {
            return sMainLooper;
        }
    }

    /**
     * Run the message queue in this thread. Be sure to call
     * {@link #quit()} to end the loop.
     *Run the message queue in this thread. Be sure to call
     *{@ link #quit()} end loop
     */
    public static void loop() {
        final Looper me = myLooper();
        if (me == null) {
            throw new RuntimeException("No Looper; Looper.prepare() wasn't called on this thread.");
        }
        final MessageQueue queue = me.mQueue;

        // Make sure the identity of this thread is that of the local process,
        // and keep track of what that identity token actually is.
        Binder.clearCallingIdentity();
        final long ident = Binder.clearCallingIdentity();

        for (;;) {
            Message msg = queue.next(); // might block
            if (msg == null) {
                // No message indicates that the message queue is quitting.
                return;
            }

            // This must be in a local variable, in case a UI event sets the logger
            final Printer logging = me.mLogging;
            if (logging != null) {
                logging.println(">>>>> Dispatching to " + msg.target + " " +
                        msg.callback + ": " + msg.what);
            }

            final long slowDispatchThresholdMs = me.mSlowDispatchThresholdMs;

            final long traceTag = me.mTraceTag;
            if (traceTag != 0 && Trace.isTagEnabled(traceTag)) {
                Trace.traceBegin(traceTag, msg.target.getTraceName(msg));
            }
            final long start = (slowDispatchThresholdMs == 0) ? 0 : SystemClock.uptimeMillis();
            final long end;
            try {
                msg.target.dispatchMessage(msg);
                end = (slowDispatchThresholdMs == 0) ? 0 : SystemClock.uptimeMillis();
            } finally {
                if (traceTag != 0) {
                    Trace.traceEnd(traceTag);
                }
            }
            if (slowDispatchThresholdMs > 0) {
                final long time = end - start;
                if (time > slowDispatchThresholdMs) {
                    Slog.w(TAG, "Dispatch took " + time + "ms on "
                            + Thread.currentThread().getName() + ", h=" +
                            msg.target + " cb=" + msg.callback + " msg=" + msg.what);
                }
            }

            if (logging != null) {
                logging.println("<<<<< Finished to " + msg.target + " " + msg.callback);
            }

            // Make sure that during the course of dispatching the
            // identity of the thread wasn't corrupted.
            final long newIdent = Binder.clearCallingIdentity();
            if (ident != newIdent) {
                Log.wtf(TAG, "Thread identity changed from 0x"
                        + Long.toHexString(ident) + " to 0x"
                        + Long.toHexString(newIdent) + " while dispatching to "
                        + msg.target.getClass().getName() + " "
                        + msg.callback + " what=" + msg.what);
            }

            msg.recycleUnchecked();
        }
    }
     /**
     * Return the Looper object associated with the current thread.  Returns
     * null if the calling thread is not associated with a Looper.
     /**
     *Returns the looper object associated with the current thread. return goods
     *Null if the calling thread is not associated with looper.
     */
     */
    public static @Nullable Looper myLooper() {
        return sThreadLocal.get();
    }

Key codes:

for (;;) {
    Message msg = queue. next(); //  May block----
}

Next, let’s see how this message is inserted into the messagequeue

Then look at the source code in messagequeue:

Message next() {
        // Return here if the message loop has already quit and been disposed.
        // This can happen if the application tries to restart a looper after quit
        // which is not supported.
        final long ptr = mPtr;
        if (ptr == 0) {
            return null;
        }

        int pendingIdleHandlerCount = -1; // -1 only during first iteration
        int nextPollTimeoutMillis = 0;
        for (;;) {
            if (nextPollTimeoutMillis != 0) {
                Binder.flushPendingCommands();
            }

            nativePollOnce(ptr, nextPollTimeoutMillis);

            synchronized (this) {
                // Try to retrieve the next message.  Return if found.
                final long now = SystemClock.uptimeMillis();
                Message prevMsg = null;
                Message msg = mMessages;
                if (msg != null && msg.target == null) {
                    // Stalled by a barrier.  Find the next asynchronous message in the queue.
                    do {
                        prevMsg = msg;
                        msg = msg.next;
                    } while (msg != null && !msg.isAsynchronous());
                }
                if (msg != null) {
                    if (now < msg.when) {
                        // Next message is not ready.  Set a timeout to wake up when it is ready.
                        nextPollTimeoutMillis = (int) Math.min(msg.when - now, Integer.MAX_VALUE);
                    } else {
                        // Got a message.
                        mBlocked = false;
                        if (prevMsg != null) {
                            prevMsg.next = msg.next;
                        } else {
                            mMessages = msg.next;
                        }
                        msg.next = null;
                        if (DEBUG) Log.v(TAG, "Returning message: " + msg);
                        msg.markInUse();
                        return msg;
                    }
                } else {
                    // No more messages.
                    nextPollTimeoutMillis = -1;
                }

                // Process the quit message now that all pending messages have been handled.
                if (mQuitting) {
                    dispose();
                    return null;
                }

                // If first time idle, then get the number of idlers to run.
                // Idle handles only run if the queue is empty or if the first message
                // in the queue (possibly a barrier) is due to be handled in the future.
                if (pendingIdleHandlerCount < 0
                        && (mMessages == null || now < mMessages.when)) {
                    pendingIdleHandlerCount = mIdleHandlers.size();
                }
                if (pendingIdleHandlerCount <= 0) {
                    // No idle handlers to run.  Loop and wait some more.
                    mBlocked = true;
                    continue;
                }

                if (mPendingIdleHandlers == null) {
                    mPendingIdleHandlers = new IdleHandler[Math.max(pendingIdleHandlerCount, 4)];
                }
                mPendingIdleHandlers = mIdleHandlers.toArray(mPendingIdleHandlers);
            }

            // Run the idle handlers.
            // We only ever reach this code block during the first iteration.
            for (int i = 0; i < pendingIdleHandlerCount; i++) {
                final IdleHandler idler = mPendingIdleHandlers[i];
                mPendingIdleHandlers[i] = null; // release the reference to the handler

                boolean keep = false;
                try {
                    keep = idler.queueIdle();
                } catch (Throwable t) {
                    Log.wtf(TAG, "IdleHandler threw exception", t);
                }

                if (!keep) {
                    synchronized (this) {
                        mIdleHandlers.remove(idler);
                    }
                }
            }

            // Reset the idle handler count to 0 so we do not run them again.
            pendingIdleHandlerCount = 0;

            // While calling an idle handler, a new message could have been delivered
            // so go back and look again for a pending message without waiting.
            nextPollTimeoutMillis = 0;
        }
    }

Key codes:

nativePollOnce(ptr, nextPollTimeoutMillis);

This sentence is an unconditional loop of for (;) Code in {} code block

This uses the pipeline mechanism in Linux to make the looper in the state of waiting for a message in the dormant state, and there is no rotation training to get the message. This solves the blocking problem of looper.

To put it simply, we let a bunch of delayed messages enter the message queue, but we don’t let loopers poll before the delay time is reached, so that loopers are in a sleep state to prevent dead loops from blocking IO threads.

For example, what if there are other instant messages to enter the message queue before the delay time arrives?

Since there are methods to sleep loopers in messagequeue, there are also methods to wake up loopers

private native static void nativeWake(long ptr);

How to wake up?

boolean enqueueMessage(Message msg, long when) {
        if (msg.target == null) {
            throw new IllegalArgumentException("Message must have a target.");
        }
        if (msg.isInUse()) {
            throw new IllegalStateException(msg + " This message is already in use.");
        }

        synchronized (this) {
            if (mQuitting) {
                IllegalStateException e = new IllegalStateException(
                        msg.target + " sending message to a Handler on a dead thread");
                Log.w(TAG, e.getMessage(), e);
                msg.recycle();
                return false;
            }

            msg.markInUse();
            msg.when = when;
            Message p = mMessages;
            boolean needWake;
            if (p == null || when == 0 || when < p.when) {
                // New head, wake up the event queue if blocked.
                msg.next = p;
                mMessages = msg;
                needWake = mBlocked;
            } else {
                // Inserted within the middle of the queue.  Usually we don't have to wake
                // up the event queue unless there is a barrier at the head of the queue
                // and the message is the earliest asynchronous message in the queue.
                needWake = mBlocked && p.target == null && msg.isAsynchronous();
                Message prev;
                for (;;) {
                    prev = p;
                    p = p.next;
                    if (p == null || when < p.when) {
                        break;
                    }
                    if (needWake && p.isAsynchronous()) {
                        needWake = false;
                    }
                }
                msg.next = p; // invariant: p == prev.next
                prev.next = msg;
            }

            // We can assume mPtr != 0 because mQuitting is false.
            if (needWake) {
                nativeWake(mPtr);
            }
        }
        return true;
    }

Of course, it needs to wake up: that is, wake up the CPU when looper polling needs message to join the queue

Key codes:

 // We can assume mPtr != 0 because mQuitting is false.
 if (needWake) {
     nativeWake(mPtr);
 }