人类一败涂地

轻微的一阵异响。面前说话的她随即模糊起来,声音也渐渐远去,趋于缥缈。我这才注意到从一开始就没有看清她的脸——原来只是个梦罢了。意识跌落回现实。我又重新感受到了我的双腿,久坐后腰的酸痛,最后是沉重的眼皮。睁开眼,还是熟悉的银色舷窗。

窗外的天王星已经很大了。坐了这么多次,光看天王星的大小也能知道到哪了,估计还得两个小时才能下船。我伸了个懒腰,腿上的便携式电脑差点飞了起来,屏幕被点亮了,光标停在了讲稿的最后一行,冷冷地跳动着。

再读一遍吧。到那边可有得我忙的。

周围的人大多和我一样,要么在闭目养神,要么在低头对着电脑,大家都一言不发。长途旅行最能磨去一个人的精气了,但为了工作你不得不奔波于各个星球之间——真是个乏味的时代。但有一个人不一样。

“孩子,那就是天王星了吧?”

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Invalid Golang Pointers Can Bite You Even If You Don't Dereference

In Golang, if you coerce a uintptr variable into unsafe.Pointer (or further, to some *T), the linter will warn with the message "possible miuse of unsafe.Pointer". This makes sense because the uintptr variable may contain an address that points to a piece of invalid memory, and dereferencing such a pointer is catastrophic (usually aborts the program).

I was always aware of the above discipline, but I thought it would be OK to hold the pointers but not dereference them. This is true in C/C++, but not for Golang, which I did not realize until recently.

In fact, the program can panic even if you just keep an invalid pointer on the stack!

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Side Project(副业)

计算机从业者们似乎都喜欢写 side project,这在中文社区中有个通俗的说法即「搞副业」。如果你经常逛 V2EX、Reddit 的编程板块或是 Hacker News,你会看到人们分享的各种各样的 side project,小到一个百余行代码的实用小工具,大至一个框架、一个网站乃至一个完整的准商业项目。

人们在分享自己的创造时往往怀着极大的热情。这是一种即使隔着屏幕也能感受到的心情,就像七岁的男孩组装好了第一辆四驱车,又或是料理爱好者凭自己的努力烧了一顿高难度的饭菜。他们分享的是自己的宝贝,并期望在人群中掀起波澜。在一些社区如 r/rust,人们热衷于讨论这样的分享,给予肯定以及有意义的反馈。但事情并不总是如意,在另外一些地方,如综合性的或是冷门的社区,只有少数分享会被人们注意,更多的则是被略过,直至沉没在信息流中。这通常会令人沮丧。

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A Flaw of Promoting Complex Trait Bounds in Rust

Days ago, for some reason, I was trying to implement a function that can polymorphize over its return type. The solution is simple, but my brain was jammed at that time, trapped in some complicated typing tricks for hours.

During the struggling, I coincidently ran into something that is temporarily a flaw in the current Rust compiler implementation. In some cases, the compiler is not smart enough to promote known trait bounds, and we have to replicate them again and again. Although the problem is afterwards proved to be a useless “X-Y Problem”, I would still like to share the story.

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Initialize Process Pool Worker with Individual Value

There could be scenes when you are using multiprocessing.pool.Pool and you want to perform some initialization for each worker before tasks are scheduled via Pool.map() or something alike. For example, you create a pool of 4 workers, each for one GPU, and expect tasks scheduled on Worker-i to precisely utilize GPU-i. In this case, Worker-i should be initialized with env var CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES=<i> set.

To initialize spawned workers, the constructor of Pool provides two arguments concerning the job initializer and initargs. initializer is expected to be a callable, and if specified, each worker process will call initializer(*initargs) when it starts.

import multiprocessing as mp
import multiprocessing.pool as mpp

def worker(arg1):
print(arg1)

mpp.Pool(processes=2, initializer=worker, initargs=(42, ))
# 42
# 42

This is, however, slightly away from what we expect. The initializer is called with same arguments in each worker, while in our case, the arguments are expected to be different, like value 1 for Worker-0 and value 1 for Worker-1. There are two approaches to do the tricks.

Use a Queue

Queue and SimpleQueue types in module multiprocessing implement multi-producer, multi-consumer FIFO queues under the multi-processing scenario. We may create and share a queue among parent and worker processes, send individual values from parent processes and read them from workers. Since the sending and receiving operations are synchronized, we won’t run into any race conditions.

def worker(q):
print(q.get())

q = mp.SimpleQueue()
p = mpp.Pool(processes=2, initializer=worker, initargs=(q,))
for i in range(2):
q.put(i)
p.close()
# 0
# 1

Use a Value

Alternatively, we may use a lighter shared object other than a queue. The Value type in module multiprocessing allows sharing simple values across multiple processes. It can also synchronize accesses to values to avoid race conditions if necessary. We can use a Value object to allocate an individual id for each worker process.

def worker(v):
with v.get_lock():
val = v.value
v.value += 1
print(val)

v = mp.Value(ctypes.c_int32, 0, lock=True)
p = mpp.Pool(processes=2, initializer=worker, initargs=(v,))
p.close()
# 0
# 1

Rust - Python FFI From Scratch

I was recently working on a side project that involves communication between binaries written in Rust and web interfaces written in Python. Moving a part of my project onto a language like Rust is under several considerations: 1) the logic is all about manipulating byte arrays, where Python has deficit and system language like Rust is superior; 2) the logic happens to be complicated, I need a static type system to ensure the correctness, and also the match expression of Rust is found helpful in getting things concise; 3) I was planning to develop CLI tools with Rust, which calls this fraction of functionality, and I don’t want to rewrite the stuff in the future.

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[Extending Hexo For My Site] Part 1 - Better Mathjax Rendering

I am a heavy user of Mathjax. Mathjax is a library that renders Tex-compatible syntax into pretty equations in web scenarios. Hence I am always mixing up Markdown and Tex snippets in my writing. The annoying part is Tex snippets have low priority in my Markdown renderer, and are sometimes incorrectly rendered into Markdown elements. For instance, $a_1, a_2$ becomes $a<em>1, a</em>2$, where underscores within $...$ are mistakenly recognized as an emphasis element. A bunch of escaping is required to avoid the situation, which drives me mad. So I got to seek a permanant solution.

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[Extending Hexo For My Site] Part 0 - Preface

I’ve been struggling to choose a handy tool for blogging about seven or eight years ago. Before the day I’ve tried building my own blog system using Django. It was great proudness and excitement to see the first “Hello World” post appeared in my browser, but soon I realized that was far from a ready-to-use product. The editor on the admin site was less functional than Sublime Text or VSCode, and sometimes buggy. The rendered content would mess up and out of my control from time to time. And most importantly, I had to pay for a VPS (or PaaS, still costly) to run the site. I was in high school at the time, and no much income for the bills. Too much trivia to care about just for a perfect writing experience. So I gave up.

It was then I read about the concept of static site generators. I love the idea that separates writing from post rendering and publishing. One will have enough freedom to pick the most suitable tool in either stage. No more need to endure the shitty web editors and I can embrace my favourite local ones. Also the renderer is highly customizable, plus lots of fabulous themes to choose from.

At this era you may recommend Hugo, but I chose Hexo then, partly because of the Node.js booming at that time. It was hardly said to be perfect initially, but as years passed I’ve made it much more handy, by developing plugins to meet my own requirements. I have bundled them in this repository hexo-enhanced. Some of them are short in source code, but greatly improve my experience during writing. I am going to open up a new series to share the story behind the plugin.

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Debug a 'torch.tensor(1).cuda()' hanging

Today a user of our GPU cluster ran into a problem where executing python -c 'import torch; torch.tensor(1).cuda() would hang forever and could not be killed. The problem occured on a rather old Docker image (with torch == 0.4.0), and would disappear if newer images were used. It was caused by some far less known coincidents, which surprised me and I want to share in this post.

The Problem

The hanging program is spawned by following command:

/usr/bin/docker run --rm -u 1457:1457 \
--gpus '"device='0,1,2,3'"' \
-v /ghome/username:/ghome/username -v /gdata/username:/gdata/username \
-it --ipc=host --shm-size 64G \
-v /gdata1/username:/gdata1/username -v /gdata2/username:/gdata2/username \
-e HOME=/ghome/username \
-m 48G --memory-swap 48G --cpus 5 \
--name username2 \
bit:5000/deepo_9 \
python3 -c 'import torch; torch.tensor(1).cuda()'

the Docker image bit:5000/deepo_9 he used was built with CUDA-9, while the host has multiple 1080Ti GPU cards and CUDA upgraded to 11.4. Looks like there’s some binary incompatibility, considering the fact that the problem would gone with newer images.

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不自由的互联网

互联网正在变得不自由——这已经成为了一种共识。这种不自由是从获取内容的角度出发,我们依自己的意愿获取知识/资讯的难度在增加。「中文互联网已死」。优质资源被各大互联网巨头所垄断,人们只能从应用内部访问,并时常受到推荐算法的说教。在巨头领域之外的公网则是一片荒漠,充斥着大量低质量、重复的内容,让秉承自主意志前来探索的人心寒。而在世界其他地方,情况可能没有这么严重,但类似的现象如巨头垄断也是存在的。互联网并不像十几年前我们所憧憬的那样。

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