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Date:   Sat, 7 Oct 2017 11:29:19 +0200
From:   Peter Zijlstra <>
To:     "Paul E. McKenney" <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH tip/core/rcu 1/9] rcu: Provide GP ordering in face of
 migrations and delays

On Fri, Oct 06, 2017 at 08:31:05PM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:

> > > OK, I will bite...  What do the smp_store_release() and the
> > > smp_load_acquire() correspond to?  I see just plain locking in
> > > wait_for_completion() and complete().
> > 
> > They reflect the concept of complete() / wait_for_completion().
> > Fundamentally all it needs to do is pass the message of 'completion'.
> > 
> > That is, if we were to go optimize our completion implementation, it
> > would be impossible to be weaker than this and still correct.
> OK, though the model does not provide spinlocks, and there can be
> differences in behavior between spinlocks and release-acquire.
> But yes, in this case, it works.

Sure; but the fundamental property here is that if we observe the
complete() we must also observe everything that went before. The exact
means of implementing that is irrelevant.

> > > So I dropped that patch yesterday.  The main thing I was missing was
> > > that there is no ordering-free fastpath in wait_for_completion() and
> > > complete(): Each unconditionally acquires the lock.  So the smp_mb()
> > > that I was trying to add doesn't need to be there.
> > 
> > Going by the above, it never needs to be there, even if there was a
> > lock-free fast-path.
> Given that wait_for_completion()/complete() both acquire the same lock,
> yes, and agreed, if it were lockless but provided the release and
> acquire ordering, then yes.

I'm not sure I got the point across; so I'll try once more. Without
providing this ordering the completion would be fundamentally broken. It
_must_ provide this ordering.

> But if it was instead structured like
> wait_event()/wake_up(), there would be ordering only if the caller
> supplied it.

Right, wait_event()/wake_up() are different in that the 'condition'
variable is external to the abstraction and thus it cannot help.

All wait_event()/wake_up() can guarantee is that IFF it does a wakeup,
the woken thread will observe the prior state of the waker. But given
the actual condition is external and we might not hit the actual sleep
case, there is no guarantees.

> All that aside, paring the ordering down to the bare minimum is not
> always the right approach.

Why not? In what sort of cases does it go wobbly?

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