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Date:   Wed, 11 Jul 2018 16:57:51 +0100
From:   Will Deacon <>
To:     Andrea Parri <>
Cc:     Alan Stern <>,
        "Paul E. McKenney" <>,
        LKMM Maintainers -- Akira Yokosawa <>,
        Boqun Feng <>,
        Daniel Lustig <>,
        David Howells <>,
        Jade Alglave <>,
        Luc Maranget <>,
        Nicholas Piggin <>,
        Peter Zijlstra <>,
        Kernel development list <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2] tools/memory-model: Add extra ordering for locks and
 remove it for ordinary release/acquire

On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 02:34:21PM +0200, Andrea Parri wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 10:43:11AM +0100, Will Deacon wrote:
> > On Tue, Jul 10, 2018 at 11:38:21AM +0200, Andrea Parri wrote:
> > > This distinction between locking operations and "other acquires" appears
> > > to me not only unmotivated but also extremely _fragile (difficult to use
> > > /maintain) when considering the analysis of synchronization mechanisms
> > > such as those mentioned above or their porting for new arch.
> > 
> > The main reason for this is because developers use spinlocks all of the
> > time, including in drivers. It's less common to use explicit atomics and
> > extremely rare to use explicit acquire/release operations. So let's make
> > locks as easy to use as possible, by giving them the strongest semantics
> > that we can whilst remaining a good fit for the instructions that are
> > provided by the architectures we support.
> Simplicity is the eye of the beholder.  From my POV (LKMM maintainer), the
> simplest solution would be to get rid of rfi-rel-acq and unlock-rf-lock-po
> (or its analogous in v3) all together:

It might be simple to model, but I worry this weakens our locking
implementations to a point where they will not be understood by the average
kernel developer. As I've said before, I would prefer "full" RCsc locking,
but that's not the case with architectures we currently support today, so
the next best thing is this "everything apart from W->R in the
inter-thread case" ordering, which isn't going to crop up unless you're
doing weird stuff anyway afaict.

> > If you want to extend this to atomic rmws, go for it, but I don't think
> > it's nearly as important and there will still be ways to implement locks
> > with insufficient ordering guarantees if you want to.
> I don't want to "implement locks with insufficient ordering guarantees"
> (w.r.t. LKMM).  ;-)

I didn't mean you personally; I mean that somebody could write a lock that
mixes rmws and acquire/release, so they'd still have to deal with the
fallout even with your proposed changes.


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