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SubjectRe: [RFC][PATCH 0/5] arch: atomic rework
On Sun, Feb 23, 2014 at 05:35:28PM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM, Paul E. McKenney
> <> wrote:
> >>
> >> (a) we've said 'q' is restricted, so there is no aliasing between q
> >> and the pointers b/c. So the compiler is free to move those accesses
> >> around the "q = p->next" access.
> >
> > Ah, if I understand you, very good!
> >
> > My example intentionally left "q" -not- restricted.
> No, I 100% agree with that. "q" is *not* restricted. But "p" is, since
> it came from that consuming load.
> But "q = p->next" is ordered by how something can alias "p->next", not by 'q'!
> There is no need to restrict anything but 'p' for all of this to work.

I cannot say I understand this last sentence right new from the viewpoint
of the standard, but suspending disbelief for the moment...

(And yes, given current compilers and CPUs, I agree that this should
all work in practice. My concern is the legality, not the reality.)

> Btw, it's also worth pointing out that I do *not* in any way expect
> people to actually write the "restrict" keyword anywhere. So no need
> to change source code.

Understood -- in this variant, you are taking the marking from the
fact that there was an assignment from a memory_order_consume load
rather than from a keyword on the assigned-to variable's declaration.

> What you have is a situation where the pointer coming out of the
> memory_order_consume is restricted. But if you assign it to a
> non-restricted pointer, that's *fine*. That's perfectly normal C
> behavior. The "restrict" concept is not something that the programmer
> needs to worry about or ever even notice, it's basically just a
> promise to the compiler that "if somebody has another pointer lying
> around, accesses though that other pointer do not require ordering".
> So it sounds like you believe that the programmer would mark things
> "restrict", and I did not mean that at all.

Indeed I did believe that.

I must confess that I was looking for an easy way to express in
standardese -exactly- where the ordering guarantee did and did
not propagate.

The thing is that the vast majority of the Linux-kernel RCU code is more
than happy with the guarantee only applying to fetches via the pointer
returned from the memory_order_consume load. There are relatively few
places where groups of structures are made visible to RCU readers via
a single rcu_assign_pointer(). I guess I need to actually count them.

Thanx, Paul

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