Re: Proposal: Remove stopped transceivers to prevent resource exhaustion

Based on this thread, the issue and PR discussions as well as editor
meetings, we have consensus to remove stopped transceivers immediately. I
will update the PR.

On Thu, Feb 21, 2019 at 3:52 PM Jan-Ivar Bruaroey <> wrote:

> On 2/15/19 5:03 PM, Henrik Boström wrote:
> As always, this is more complicated than I expected.
> On Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 6:17 PM youenn fablet <> wrote:
>> On Feb 15, 2019, at 3:02 AM, Henrik Boström <> wrote:
>> ... This prevents the transceivers, and thus the associated
>> senders/receivers and tracks, from being garbage collected. A stress test
>> running Chrome that did add/removeTrack a lot ran out of memory when we
>> switched from Plan B to Unified Plan due to this resulting in a few
>> thousand transceivers in less than a minute. (I don't know the true
>> footprint, but even if each transceiver just has a single video frame in
>> its buffer of 1280x720x4, that's several megabytes, multiplied by thousands
>> of transceivers => gigabytes of data).
>> I agree with the concern.
>> That said, implementations could probably do some clean-up when a
>> transceiver is stopped so that it becomes very lightweight.
>> Is there anything preventing implementations to do so?
> Good point. The transceiver is irreversibly stopped, and its track is
> irreversibly ended. I think it may be lightweight, but only if we don't
> have to store the a frame on the ended track.
> What happens if you attach an ended track to a video element? Does it show
> an the last received frame or no frame (black)?
> shows neither Chrome nor Firefox show
> a frame today on re-attach, but see
> for a discussion that
> might affect that.
> This may be a central question to the importance or non-importance of the
> resource issue (and whether the OOM was a Chrome bug or a spec concern).
> On Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 7:06 PM Jan-Ivar Bruaroey <> wrote:
>> Thanks Henrik for a good summary! I agree we should do something, but I'd
>> caution against big changes. Comments inline.
>> On 2/15/19 6:02 AM, Henrik Boström wrote:
>> ... TL;DR: Keeping transceivers around prevents garbage collection of a
>> possibly ever-growing list of tracks. Can we stop doing that?
>> If an application does addTrack() and removeTrack() with renegotiations
>> in-between, the list of m= sections and transceivers will grow over time.
>> This will remain true. Developers who operate with the
>> addTrack()/removeTrack() symmetric mental model, will continue to
>> experience this side-effect. transceiver.stop() does not rescue that mental
>> model, since it stops both directions.
>> So the short answer to your "Can we stop doing that?" question is
>> "probably not".
> Good point. I don't think we'll fix the problem for people who have the
> wrong mental model. Stopping a transceiver would have to be a conscious
> act, where you don't stop a transceiver that may be used for receiving.
> That said, I agree we should fix the main side-effect of
>> transceiver.stop() you point out: that it holds on to objects long after
>> the underlying machinery it's supposed to represent (the network
>> negotiation slot) has been repurposed. Transceivers were meant to be true
>> to the underlying behaviors, and this fails that.
>> ... Related issues/questions:
>>    1. If you care about mids of stopped transceivers you'd have to
>>    record them yourself.
>>    2. There is no "onstopped" event in case a transceiver is stopped due
>>    to setRemoteDescription(). Should we add one, or is it enough that the
>>    application checks whether the transceiver still exists by querying
>>    getTransceivers() in track.onmute?
>> `mute` only fires remotely AFAIK. However, transceiver.stop() [1] does
>> reliably fire `ended` on transceiver.receiver.track on both ends. [2] But
>> in neither case are you given a pointer to the transceiver.
> Yes, "onended" is the one we want not "onmute". Do you need the
> transceiver pointer though? When you add a listener to "onended" you know
> the transceiver already (or you can look it up in the pc using the track).
> You can do this:
> function onstoppedPromise(pc, transceiver) {
>   return new Promise(resolve => {
>     transceiver.receiver.track.onended => {
>       resolve(transceiver);
>     }
>   });
> }
> pc.ontrack = e =>
> onstoppedPromise(e.transceiver).then(processEndedTransceiver);
> That works!
> Please discuss.
>> I think you hit on the most confusing situation: where the other side
>> stopped your transceiver.
>> The current spec API for this is to examine the boolean
>> `transceiver.stopped`, once you return to "stable". I think that works, has
>> a couple of years of this working group behind it, Firefox implements it,
>> and it has neither of the issues you mention.
>> With the change you propose, the transceiver would effectively disappear
>> from all lists we maintain for developers, before developers get a chance
>> to react. Finding out which transceiver(s) were stopped might be hard.
>> Ironically, the `transceiver.stopped` API would still exist, but developers
>> would have to cache the list ahead of time to use it.
> How about instead:
>>    - we remove the stopped transceiver on subsequent renegotiation, when
>>    its m-line is reused?—If we're clever, we may even be able to insert the
>>    new transceiver that inherits the m-line, in its place, preserving the
>>    index order of the other transceivers in getTransceivers().
>> Thoughts?
> I see the benefit of keeping the transceiver around during negotiation; it
> might be nice to have an easily accessible list of transceivers that is
> complete and comparable to the SDP, including stopped ones.
> This is where it gets hairy:
> > *If we're clever, we may even be able to insert the new transceiver
> that inherits the m-line, in its place, preserving the index order of the
> other transceivers in getTransceivers()*
> The "new transceiver" might not be newly created, it might be a
> transceiver that was created (at index *n*) and is now tied to a previous
> m-line, say index *i*. Do we move the transceiver?
> Good point. m-lines become eligible for re-use on transition to "stable"
> state, but there's a window between then and the previous "stable" state
> where if addTransceiver() were to be called would create transceivers that
> should get first dibs on these m-lines.
> What if we instead removed stopped transceivers in
> addTransceiver()/addTack()? I.e. we'd "overwrite" stopped transceivers with
> new ones, mimicking what should happen at the m-line level once we
> renegotiate.
> This would seem to preserve indices, IF we want to go that way. I do worry
> about it not being POLA though.
> A lot boils down to what we want to be true about transceiver indices:
> what do we want to be true?
> I believe the statement "the transceiver index is the SDP m-line index" is *not
> true* when both endpoints add transceivers before negotiating, and
> possibly other edge cases. What *is true* is "the transceivers are listed
> in insertion order". If you add in-place insertion of recycled m-sections,
> or move transceivers around, you would sacrifice what was always true
> (insertion order) in order to maintain support for what was sometimes true
> but not always (transceiver index matches SDP). I'm not sure maintaining
> this illusion is worth the complexity, especially when mid is what you
> *should* use when comparing SDP or the other endpoint's set of
> transceivers.
> Here's a third option:
>    - Stopping a transceiver does not immediately remove it from the set
>    of transceivers, but when the signaling state goes from any non-stable
>    state to stable, all stopped transceivers are removed.
> It doesn't try to make the index match (if you can't guarantee, don't try)
> but it maintains insertion order, and stopping a transceiver with stop() or
> setRemoteDescription(offer) does not immediately make it disappear. But if
> you are the offerer, transceivers stopped by the answer would disappear
> when you do setRemoteDescription(answer).
> Yeah so this would explicitly not solve the case I think would be most
> surprising, where the other side stopped us.
> We should probably just pick what's simpler.
> .: Jan-Ivar :.
> Is that better or worse?
>> .: Jan-Ivar :.
>> [1]
>> [2]

Received on Friday, 22 February 2019 16:18:45 UTC