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Date:	Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:25:32 -0700 (PDT)
From:	David Miller <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] defxx: Remove an incorrectly inverted preprocessor

From: "Maciej W. Rozycki" <>
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2014 01:45:53 +0100 (BST)

> The RX handler of the driver has two paths switched between, depending on 
> the size of the frame received, as determined by SKBUFF_RX_COPYBREAK.  
> When a small frame is received, a new skb allocated has data space large 
> enough to hold the incoming frame only, and data is copied there from the 
> original skb whose buffer is returned to the DMA RX ring; in that case 
> `rx_in_place' is 0.  When a large frame is received, a new skb allocated 
> has data space large enough to hold the largest frame possible, including 
> the overhead for alignment, the receive status and padding, over 4.5kiB 
> overall, and its buffer is placed on the DMA RX ring while the original 
> buffer is passed up to the network stack avoiding the need to copy data; 
> in that case `rx_in_place' is 1.
> However the latter scenario is only possible when dynamic buffers are 
> used, as determined by DYNAMIC_BUFFERS, because otherwise the buffers used 
> for the DMA RX ring are fixed at the time the interface is brought up.
> That leads to an observation that the preprocessor conditional around the 
> `rx_in_place' check is inverted, the check only really matters when 
> dynamic buffers are in use.  It has gone unnoticed for many years since 
> support for using dynamic buffers on the DMA RX ring was introduced in 
> 2.1.40 -- because the only problem that results is in the case where 
> `rx_in_place' is 1 frame data received is unnecessarily copied to the 
> newly-allocated buffer, before the buffer placed on the the DMA receive RX 
> and its contents ignored.  Therefore the only symptom is some performance 
> loss.
> Rather than flipping the condition though I decided to discard the 
> conditional altogether -- in the case of static buffers `rx_in_place' is 
> always 0 so GCC will optimise the C conditional away instead.
> Tested on a few DEFPA and DEFTA boards successfully using both small and 
> large frames, both with DYNAMIC_BUFFERS defined and with the macro 
> undefined.
> Signed-off-by: Maciej W. Rozycki <>

Applied, thanks.
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