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From: Linus Torvalds <torvalds@linux-foundation.org>
To: "Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@kernel.org>
Cc: Alan Stern <stern@rowland.harvard.edu>,
	Peter Zijlstra <peterz@infradead.org>,
	Will Deacon <will@kernel.org>,
	Andrea Parri <parri.andrea@gmail.com>,
	Boqun Feng <boqun.feng@gmail.com>,
	Nick Piggin <npiggin@gmail.com>,
	David Howells <dhowells@redhat.com>,
	Jade Alglave <j.alglave@ucl.ac.uk>,
	Luc Maranget <luc.maranget@inria.fr>,
	Akira Yokosawa <akiyks@gmail.com>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org>,
	linux-toolchains@vger.kernel.org,
	linux-arch <linux-arch@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: [RFC] LKMM: Add volatile_if()
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2021 14:27:49 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <CAHk-=wgmUbU6XPHz=4NFoLMxH7j_SR-ky4sKzOBrckmvk5AJow@mail.gmail.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20210604205600.GB4397@paulmck-ThinkPad-P17-Gen-1>

On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 1:56 PM Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@kernel.org> wrote:
>
> The usual way to prevent it is to use WRITE_ONCE().

The very *documentation example* for "volatile_if()" uses that WRITE_ONCE().

IOW, the patch that started this discussion has this comment in it:

+/**
+ * volatile_if() - Provide a control-dependency
+ *
+ * volatile_if(READ_ONCE(A))
+ *     WRITE_ONCE(B, 1);
+ *
+ * will ensure that the STORE to B happens after the LOAD of A.

and my point is that I don't see *ANY THEORETICALLY POSSIBLE* way that
that "volatile_if()" could not be just a perfectly regular "if ()".

Can you?

Because we *literally* depend on the fundamental concept of causality
to make the hardware not re-order those operations.

That is the WHOLE AND ONLY point of this whole construct: we're
avoiding a possibly expensive hardware barrier operation, because we
know we have a more fundamental barrier that is INHERENT TO THE
OPERATION.

And I cannot for the life of me see how a compiler can break that
fundamental concept of causality either.

Seriously. Tell me how a compiler could _possibly_ turn that into
something that breaks the fundamental causal relationship. The same
fundamental causal relationship that is the whole and only reason we
don't need a memory barrier for the hardware.

And no, there is not a way in hell that the above can be written with
some kind of semantically visible speculative store without the
compiler being a total pile of garbage that wouldn't be usable for
compiling a kernel with.

If your argument is that the compiler can magically insert speculative
stores that can then be overwritten later, then MY argument is that
such a compiler could do that for *ANYTHING*. "volatile_if()" wouldn't
save us.

If that's valid compiler behavior in your opinion, then we have
exactly two options:

 (a) give up

 (b) not use that broken garbage of a compiler.

So I can certainly accept the patch with the simpler implementation of
"volatile_if()", but dammit, I want to see an actual real example
arguing for why it would be relevant and why the compiler would need
our help.

Because the EXACT VERY EXAMPLE that was in the patch as-is sure as
hell is no such thing.

If the intent is to *document* that "this conditional is part of a
load-conditional-store memory ordering pattern, then that is one
thing. But if that's the intent, then we might as well just write it
as

    #define volatile_if(x) if (x)

and add a *comment* about why this kind of sequence doesn't need a
memory barrier.

I'd much rather have that kind of documentation, than have barriers
that are magical for theoretical compiler issues that aren't real, and
don't have any grounding in reality.

Without a real and valid example of how this could matter, this is
just voodoo programming.

We don't actually need to walk three times widdershins around the
computer before compiling the kernel.That's not how kernel development
works.

And we don't need to add a "volatile_if()" with magical barriers that
have no possibility of having real semantic meaning.

So I want to know what the semantic meaning of volatile_if() would be,
and why it fixes anything that a plain "if()" wouldn't. I want to see
the sequence where that "volatile_if()" actually *fixes* something.

              Linus

  reply	other threads:[~2021-06-04 21:29 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 121+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-06-04 10:12 Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 10:44 ` Will Deacon
2021-06-04 11:13   ` Will Deacon
2021-06-04 11:31   ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 13:44     ` Will Deacon
2021-06-04 13:56       ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 15:13         ` Will Deacon
2021-06-04 15:22           ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 15:36             ` Alan Stern
2021-06-04 15:42             ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 15:51               ` Alan Stern
2021-06-04 16:17                 ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 18:27                   ` Alan Stern
2021-06-04 19:09                     ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-04 19:18                       ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-04 20:56                         ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-04 21:27                           ` Linus Torvalds [this message]
2021-06-04 21:40                             ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-04 22:19                               ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-05 14:57                                 ` Alan Stern
2021-06-06  0:14                                   ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-06  1:29                                     ` Alan Stern
2021-06-06  3:41                                       ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-06  4:43                                         ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-06 13:17                                           ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 19:07                                             ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-06 12:59                                         ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 13:47                                           ` Alan Stern
2021-06-06 17:13                                             ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 18:25                                           ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-06 19:19                                             ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 18:41                                         ` Alan Stern
2021-06-06 18:59                                         ` Jakub Jelinek
2021-06-06 19:15                                           ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-06 19:22                                           ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-06 20:11                                             ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 21:19                                             ` Alexander Monakov
2021-06-06 22:38                                               ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-06 23:39                                                 ` Rasmus Villemoes
2021-06-06 23:44                                                   ` Rasmus Villemoes
2021-06-07  8:01                                                 ` Alexander Monakov
2021-06-07  8:27                                                   ` Marco Elver
2021-06-07 15:28                                                     ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-07 17:04                                                       ` Marco Elver
2021-06-08  9:30                                                         ` Marco Elver
2021-06-08 11:22                                                           ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-08 15:28                                                             ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-09 12:44                                                               ` Marco Elver
2021-06-09 15:31                                                                 ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-09 16:13                                                                   ` Marco Elver
2021-06-09 17:14                                                                     ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-09 17:31                                                                       ` Nick Desaulniers
2021-06-09 20:24                                                                         ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-09 18:25                                                                     ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-07 17:52                                                   ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-07 18:07                                                     ` Alexander Monakov
2021-06-07 18:18                                                       ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-07 17:42                                                 ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-07 20:31                                                   ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-07 22:54                                                     ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 11:53                                       ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 13:45                                         ` Alan Stern
2021-06-06 18:04                                         ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-06 18:22                                           ` Alan Stern
2021-06-06 18:43                                             ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-07 10:43                                               ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-07 11:52                                                 ` Will Deacon
2021-06-07 15:25                                                   ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-07 16:02                                                     ` Will Deacon
2021-06-07 18:08                                                       ` Paul E. McKenney
     [not found]                                                   ` <20210730172020.GA32396@knuckles.cs.ucl.ac.uk>
2021-07-30 20:35                                                     ` Alan Stern
2021-08-02 21:18                                                     ` Alan Stern
2021-08-02 23:31                                                     ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-08-04 20:09                                                       ` Alan Stern
2021-08-05 19:47                                                     ` Alan Stern
2021-08-07  0:51                                                     ` Alan Stern
2021-06-06 18:40                                           ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 18:48                                             ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-06 18:53                                               ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-06 19:52                                               ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 20:11                                                 ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-06 20:26                                                   ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 23:37                                                     ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-07 14:12                                                       ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-07 15:27                                                         ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-07 18:23                                                           ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-07 19:51                                                             ` Alan Stern
2021-06-07 20:16                                                               ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-07 22:40                                                                 ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-07 23:26                                                                   ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-07 10:52                                                     ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-07 14:16                                                       ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 22:05                             ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-05  3:14                       ` Alan Stern
2021-06-05 16:24                         ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-04 15:50         ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 15:47     ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 11:44 ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 14:13   ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-04 15:35   ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 16:10     ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 16:40       ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 18:55         ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-04 19:53           ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 20:40             ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-06 11:36               ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-06 19:01                 ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-04 14:25 ` Alan Stern
2021-06-04 16:09 ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 16:33   ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 16:30 ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-04 16:37   ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 16:52     ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 17:10     ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-04 17:24       ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 17:38         ` Linus Torvalds
2021-06-04 18:25           ` Segher Boessenkool
2021-06-04 19:17         ` Peter Zijlstra
2021-06-04 20:43           ` Paul E. McKenney
2021-06-04 18:23       ` Alan Stern
2021-06-08 12:48 ` David Laight

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