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SubjectRe: [PATCH] [RFC] mm: slab: separate slab_page from 'struct page'
On Tue, 10 Dec 2013, Dave Hansen wrote:

> >
> > The single page struct definitions makes it easy to see how a certain
> > field is being used in various subsystems. If you add a field then you
> > can see other use cases in other subsystems. If you happen to call
> > them then you know that there is trouble afoot.
> First of all, I'd really argue with the assertion that the way it is now
> make it easy to figure anything out. Maybe we can take a vote. :)

Its certainly easier than it was before where we had page struct defs
spluttered in various subsystems.

> We _need_ to share fields when the structure is handed between different
> subsystems and it needs to be consistent in both places. For slab page
> at least, the only data that actually gets used consistently is
> page->flags. It seems silly to bend over backwards just to share a
> single bitfield.

If you get corruption in one field then you need to figure out which other
subsystem could have accessed that field. Its not a single bitfield. There
are numerous relationships between the fields in struct page.

> > How do you ensure that the sizes and the locations of the fields in
> > multiple page structs stay consistent?
> Check out the BUILD_BUG_ON(). That shows one example of how we do it
> for a field location. We could do the same for sizeof() the two.

A bazillion of those? And this is simpler than what we ahve?

> > As far as I can tell we are trying to put everything into one page struct
> > to keep track of the uses of various fields and to allow a reference for
> > newcomes to the kernel.
> If the goal is to make a structure which is approachable to newcomers to
> the kernel, then I think we've utterly failed.

I do not see your approach making things easier. Having this stuff in one
place is helpful. I kept on discovering special use cases in various
kernel subsystems that caused breakage because of this and that
special use cases for fields. I think we were only able to optimize
slabs use of struct page because we finally had a better handle on what
uses which field for what purpose.

Looks to me that you want to go back to the old mess because we now have a
more complete accounting of how the fields are used. It may be a horror
but maybe you can help by simplifying things where possible and find as of
yet undocumented use cases for various page struct fields?

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