[llvm-dev] [isocpp-parallel] Proposal for new memory_order_consume definition

Paul E. McKenney via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Feb 29 17:28:20 PST 2016

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 07:17:55PM +0100, Michael Matz wrote:
> Hi,
> On Sat, 27 Feb 2016, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > But we do already have something very similar with signed integer
> > overflow.  If the compiler can see a way to generate faster code that
> > does not handle the overflow case, then the semantics suddenly change
> > from twos-complement arithmetic to something very strange.  The standard
> > does not specify all the ways that the implementation might deduce that
> > faster code can be generated by ignoring the overflow case, it instead
> > simply says that signed integer overflow invoked undefined behavior.
> > 
> > And if that is a problem, you use unsigned integers instead of signed
> > integers.
> > 
> > So it seems that we should be able to do something very similar here.
> For this case the important pice of information to convey one or the other 
> meaning in source code is the _type_ of involved entities, not annotations 
> on the operations.  signed type -> undefined overflow, unsigned type -> 
> modulo arithmetic; easy, and it nicely carries automatically through 
> operation chains (and pointers) without any annotations.
> I feel much of the complexity in the memory order specifications, also 
> with your recent (much better) wording to explain dependency chains, would 
> be much easier if the 'carries-dependency' would be encoded into the types 
> of operands.  For purpose of example, let's call the marker "blaeh" (not 
> atomic to not confuse with existing use :) ):
> int foo;
> blaeh int global;
> int *somep;
> blae int *blaehp;
> f () {
>   blaehp = &foo;  // might be okay, adds restrictions on accesses through 
>                   // blaehp, but not through 'foo' directly
>   blaehp = &global;
>   if (somep == blaehp)
>     {
>       /* Even though the value is equal ... */
>       ... *blaehp ... /* ... a compiler can't rewrite this into *somep */
>     }
> }
> A "carries-dependency" on some operation (e.g. a call) would be added by 
> using a properly typed pointer at those arguments (or return type) where 
> it matters.  You can't give a blaeh pointer to something only accepting 
> non-blaeh pointers (without cast).
> Pointer addition and similar transformations involving a blaeh pointer and 
> some integer would still give a blaeh pointer, and hence by default also 
> solve the problem of cancellations.
> Such marking via types would not solve all problems in an optimal way if 
> you had two overlapping but independend dependency chains (all of them 
> would collapse to one chain and hence made dependend, which still is 
> conservatively correct).
> OTOH introducing new type qualifiers is a much larger undertaking, so I 
> can understand one wants to avoid this.  I think it'd ultimately be 
> clearer, though.

As has been stated in this thread, we do need the unmarked variant.

For the marked variant, there are quite a few possible solutions with
varying advantages and disadvantages:

o	Attribute already exists, but is not carried by the type system.
	Could be enforced by external tools.

o	Storage class could be added with fewer effects on the type
	system, but the reaction to this suggestion in October was
	not all that positive.

o	Non-type keywords for objects has been suggested, might be worth

o	Adding to the type system allows type enforcement on the one
	hand, but makes it harder to write code that can be used for
	both RCU-protected and not-RCU-protected data structures.
	(This sort of thing is not uncommon in the Linux kernel.)

There are probably others, but those are the ones I recall at the

							Thanx, Paul

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