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Date:	Sun, 19 Oct 2014 17:23:04 -0700
From:	Linus Torvalds <>
To:	Sasha Levin <>
Cc:	"Kirill A. Shutemov" <>,
	Aaro Koskinen <>,
	Andrew Pinski <>,
	Andrew Morton <>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] kernel: use the gnu89 standard explicitly

On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 4:59 PM, Sasha Levin <> wrote:
>> AndrewP, mind explaing the other difference you mentioned (ie wrt
>> "extern inline")? I thought we had already long since ended up
>> following the gcc semantics (ie use "static inline" if we don't have
>> an external version somehwre), what exactly changed?
> (Stolen from gcc changelog:)
> gnu89: extern inline: Will not generate an out-of-line version, but
>         might call one.
> gnu99: extern inline: like GNU "inline", externally visible code is
>         emitted.
> (So what happens is that with gnu99 you end up with multiple definitions
> of the symbol since it was externed from multiple compilation units).

Oh Christ. So this got broken yet again, even *after* they had
documented the old behavior?

Originally, gcc documented that "extern inline" is a good replacement
for a macro. Then, that changed, and "static inline" became the
replacement for a macro, and "extern inline" was to mean that *if* it
gets inlined, that definition is used, but otherwise there's supposed
to be an external non-inlined copy somewhere else (so the inline
definition of the function is basically entirely ignored when not
inlining for one reason or another).

So now we have a *third* semantic of "extern inline", and one that
seems to be entirely inappropriate to *ever* be used in a header file
due to duplicate symbol problems. What a mess.

Maybe we should just specify "gnu89" to avoid these kinds of insane
semantic changes.

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