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SubjectRe: Arrays of variable length
On Sun, 05 Mar 2017, Måns Rullgård wrote:
> Tomas Winkler <> writes:
> > Sparse complains for arrays declared with variable length
> >
> > 'warning: Variable length array is used'
> >
> > Prior to c99 this was not allowed but lgcc (c99) doesn't have problem
> > with that
> > And also Linux kernel compilation with W=1 doesn't complain.
> >
> > Since sparse is used extensively would like to ask what is the correct
> > usage of arrays of variable length
> > within Linux Kernel.
> Variable-length arrays are a very bad idea. Don't use them, ever.
> If the size has a sane upper bound, just use that value statically.
> Otherwise, you have a stack overflow waiting to happen and should be
> using some kind of dynamic allocation instead.
> Furthermore, use of VLAs generally results in less efficient code. For
> instance, it forces gcc to waste a register for the frame pointer, and
> it often prevents inlining.

Well, if we're going to forbid VLAs in the kernel, IMHO the kernel build
system should call gcc with -Werror=vla to get that point across early,
and flush out any offenders.

Henrique Holschuh

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