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Date:   Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:51:27 -0800
From:   "Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>
To:     linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org
Cc:     mingo@...nel.org, jiangshanlai@...il.com, dipankar@...ibm.com,
        akpm@...ux-foundation.org, mathieu.desnoyers@...icios.com,
        josh@...htriplett.org, tglx@...utronix.de, peterz@...radead.org,
        rostedt@...dmis.org, dhowells@...hat.com, edumazet@...gle.com,
        dvhart@...ux.intel.com, fweisbec@...il.com, oleg@...hat.com,
        bobby.prani@...il.com, Joel Fernandes <joelaf@...gle.com>,
        Will Deacon <will.deacon@....com>,
        Paul McKenney <paulmck@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>
Subject: [PATCH v3 tip/core/rcu 16/18] llist: Clarify comments about when locking is needed

From: Joel Fernandes <joelaf@...gle.com>

llist.h comments are confusing about when locking is needed versus when it
isn't. Clarify these comments by being more descriptive about why locking is
needed for llist_del_first.

Cc: Ingo Molnar <mingo@...nel.org>
Cc: Will Deacon <will.deacon@....com>
Cc: Paul McKenney <paulmck@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>
Acked-by: Huang Ying <ying.huang@...el.com>
Acked-by: Mathieu Desnoyers <mathieu.desnoyers@...icios.com>
Signed-off-by: Joel Fernandes <joelaf@...gle.com>
Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>
Reviewed-by: Josh Triplett <josh@...htriplett.org>
---
 include/linux/llist.h | 37 +++++++++++++++++++++----------------
 1 file changed, 21 insertions(+), 16 deletions(-)

diff --git a/include/linux/llist.h b/include/linux/llist.h
index fd4ca0b4fe0f..171baa90f6f6 100644
--- a/include/linux/llist.h
+++ b/include/linux/llist.h
@@ -3,28 +3,33 @@
 /*
  * Lock-less NULL terminated single linked list
  *
- * If there are multiple producers and multiple consumers, llist_add
- * can be used in producers and llist_del_all can be used in
- * consumers.  They can work simultaneously without lock.  But
- * llist_del_first can not be used here.  Because llist_del_first
- * depends on list->first->next does not changed if list->first is not
- * changed during its operation, but llist_del_first, llist_add,
- * llist_add (or llist_del_all, llist_add, llist_add) sequence in
- * another consumer may violate that.
- *
- * If there are multiple producers and one consumer, llist_add can be
- * used in producers and llist_del_all or llist_del_first can be used
- * in the consumer.
- *
- * This can be summarized as follow:
+ * Cases where locking is not needed:
+ * If there are multiple producers and multiple consumers, llist_add can be
+ * used in producers and llist_del_all can be used in consumers simultaneously
+ * without locking. Also a single consumer can use llist_del_first while
+ * multiple producers simultaneously use llist_add, without any locking.
+ *
+ * Cases where locking is needed:
+ * If we have multiple consumers with llist_del_first used in one consumer, and
+ * llist_del_first or llist_del_all used in other consumers, then a lock is
+ * needed.  This is because llist_del_first depends on list->first->next not
+ * changing, but without lock protection, there's no way to be sure about that
+ * if a preemption happens in the middle of the delete operation and on being
+ * preempted back, the list->first is the same as before causing the cmpxchg in
+ * llist_del_first to succeed. For example, while a llist_del_first operation
+ * is in progress in one consumer, then a llist_del_first, llist_add,
+ * llist_add (or llist_del_all, llist_add, llist_add) sequence in another
+ * consumer may cause violations.
+ *
+ * This can be summarized as follows:
  *
  *           |   add    | del_first |  del_all
  * add       |    -     |     -     |     -
  * del_first |          |     L     |     L
  * del_all   |          |           |     -
  *
- * Where "-" stands for no lock is needed, while "L" stands for lock
- * is needed.
+ * Where, a particular row's operation can happen concurrently with a column's
+ * operation, with "-" being no lock needed, while "L" being lock is needed.
  *
  * The list entries deleted via llist_del_all can be traversed with
  * traversing function such as llist_for_each etc.  But the list
-- 
2.5.2

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