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SubjectRe: Arrays of variable length
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Henrique de Moraes Holschuh <hmh@hmh.eng.br> writes:

> On Sun, 05 Mar 2017, Måns Rullgård wrote:
>> Tomas Winkler <tomasw@gmail.com> 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 https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc/Variable-Length.html.
>> > 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.

If it were up to me, that's exactly what I'd do.

--
Måns Rullgård

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