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Date:   Wed, 2 Feb 2022 22:42:34 +0000
From:   David Laight <David.Laight@...LAB.COM>
To:     'Rasmus Villemoes' <rasmus.villemoes@...vas.dk>,
        'Kees Cook' <keescook@...omium.org>,
        Jonathan Corbet <corbet@....net>
CC:     Linus Torvalds <torvalds@...ux-foundation.org>,
        Martin Uecker <Martin.Uecker@....uni-goettingen.de>,
        Ingo Molnar <mingo@...nel.org>,
        Miguel Ojeda <miguel.ojeda.sandonis@...il.com>,
        Rikard Falkeborn <rikard.falkeborn@...il.com>,
        Arnd Bergmann <arnd@...db.de>,
        "linux-doc@...r.kernel.org" <linux-doc@...r.kernel.org>,
        Tetsuo Handa <penguin-kernel@...ove.SAKURA.ne.jp>,
        Andrew Morton <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>,
        Andy Shevchenko <andy.shevchenko@...il.com>,
        Nick Desaulniers <ndesaulniers@...gle.com>,
        "Gustavo A. R. Silva" <gustavoars@...nel.org>,
        "linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org" <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
        "linux-hardening@...r.kernel.org" <linux-hardening@...r.kernel.org>
Subject: RE: [PATCH] linux/const.h: Explain how __is_constexpr() works

From: Rasmus Villemoes
> Sent: 02 February 2022 20:44
> 
> On 02/02/2022 17.19, David Laight wrote:
> > From: Kees Cook
> >> Sent: 31 January 2022 20:44
> >>
> >> The __is_constexpr() macro is dark magic. Shed some light on it with
> >> a comment to explain how and why it works.
> >>
> > ...
> >> diff --git a/include/linux/const.h b/include/linux/const.h
> >> index 435ddd72d2c4..7122d6a1f8ce 100644
> >> --- a/include/linux/const.h
> >> +++ b/include/linux/const.h
> >> @@ -7,6 +7,30 @@
> >>   * This returns a constant expression while determining if an argument is
> >>   * a constant expression, most importantly without evaluating the argument.
> >>   * Glory to Martin Uecker <Martin.Uecker@....uni-goettingen.de>
> >> + *
> >> + * Details:
> >> + * - sizeof() is an integer constant expression, and does not evaluate the
> >> + *   value of its operand; it only examines the type of its operand.
> >> + * - The results of comparing two integer constant expressions is also
> >> + *   an integer constant expression.
> >> + * - The use of literal "8" is to avoid warnings about unaligned pointers;
> >> + *   these could otherwise just be "1"s.
> >> + * - (long)(x) is used to avoid warnings about 64-bit types on 32-bit
> >> + *   architectures.
> >> + * - The C standard defines an "integer constant expression" as different
> >> + *   from a "null pointer constant" (an integer constant 0 pointer).
> >> + * - The conditional operator ("... ? ... : ...") returns the type of the
> >> + *   operand that isn't a null pointer constant. This behavior is the
> >> + *   central mechanism of the macro.
> >> + * - If (x) is an integer constant expression, then the "* 0l" resolves it
> >> + *   into a null pointer constant, which forces the conditional operator
> >> + *   to return the type of the last operand: "(int *)".
> >> + * - If (x) is not an integer constant expression, then the type of the
> >> + *   conditional operator is from the first operand: "(void *)".
> >> + * - sizeof(int) == 4 and sizeof(void) == 1.
> >> + * - The ultimate comparison to "sizeof(int)" chooses between either:
> >> + *     sizeof(*((int *) (8)) == sizeof(int)   (x was a constant expression)
> >> + *     sizeof(*((void *)(8)) == sizeof(void)  (x was not a constant expression)
> >>   */
> >>  #define __is_constexpr(x) \
> >>  	(sizeof(int) == sizeof(*(8 ? ((void *)((long)(x) * 0l)) : (int *)8)))
> >
> > This has been making my head hurt all day.
> > The above isn't really a true description - ?: doesn't work that way.
> > Try the following for size:
> >
> > - The conditional operator (?:) requires that both expressions have the
> >   the same type (after numeric promotions).
> 
> No. Please read 6.5.15.3 for the preconditions, and 6.5.15.5 and
> 6.5.15.6 for the rules governing the type of the whole expression.
> 
> >   The type of the result is a compile time constant and doesn't depend on any
> >   variables.
> 
> Yes, the type of any expression in C is known at compile time, and is
> determined via the rules in the C standard. I wouldn't call it a
> "compile time constant" though.
> 
> > - If the expressions have distinct non-NULL pointer types then they are both
> >   cast to (void *) and the result has type 'void *'.
> 
> Wrong.

gah server me right for using godbolt to test it.

> 
> > - A NULL pointer can be made from any integer constant expression that
> >   evaluates to 0, not just a literal 0.
> > - So the type of (0 ? (void *)(x) : (int *)8) is 'int *' if (x) is zero
> >   (because of the NULL) and (void *) otherwise because the pointer types
> >   don't match.
> 
> That's basically how this macro works, but "So" is not warranted as it
> does not follow from any of the previous, wrong, statements.
> 
> > You can test this by evaluating:
> > 	sizeof *(0 ? (float *)4 : (int *)4)
> 
> That's an ill-formed conditional operator, and gcc says as much even
> without any -Wall in effect.
> 
> warning: pointer type mismatch in conditional expression
>     8 |  return sizeof(*(0 ? (float *)4 : (int *)4));
> 
> 
> > This is 1 because of the implicit (void *) cast.
> 
> There is no such thing.

Ok let's try again...
The compiler needs to find a 'compatible type' either for:
	(void *)x	and	(int *)8
or for:
	(void *)0	and	(int *)8
In the former it is 'void *' and the latter 'int *' because the (void *)0
is NULL and thus a valid 'int *' pointer.

In any case suggesting that it is based on the value before the ? is bogus.

That is probably a reasonable description.

	David

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