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Date:	Fri, 30 Nov 2007 10:49:00 +1100
From:	Herbert Xu <>
To:	"Paul E. McKenney" <>
Cc:	Pavel Emelyanov <>,
	Stephen Hemminger <>,
	Linux Netdev List <>,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH (resubmit)][BRIDGE] Properly dereference the br_should_route_hook

On Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 06:36:50AM -0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> That certainly is an interesting tradeoff...  Save a memory barrier
> when assigning NULL, but pay an extra test and branch in all cases.
> Though it does make for a simpler rule -- just use rcu_assign_pointer()
> in all cases.  Of course, if almost all rcu_assign_pointer() executions
> assign non-NULL pointers, the optimal strategy would be to leave the
> implementation of rcu_assign_pointer() alone, and simply enforce use
> of rcu_assign_pointer(), even if the pointer being assigned is NULL.

I was thinking of something much simpler.  If the second argument is
constant and NULL, then skip the barrier.  No run-time slow-down at
> Although rcu_dereference() does a memory barrier only on Alpha, that of
> rcu_assign_pointer() is needed on any machine that does not preserve store
> order (Itanium, POWER, ARM, some MIPS boxes according to rumor, ...).

Good point!

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