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    SubjectRe: [patch] waitqueue optimization, 2.4.0-test7
    On Mon, 28 Aug 2000, Ingo Molnar wrote:

    >yep, these are the cases i'm worried about as well. I thought that in all
    >cases where we use a waitqueue we do have some other synchronized object
    >as well (which administers the event/object we are waiting for) so in 99%

    Yes I see, often we do the wakeup within a critical section protected by a
    spinlock for example. But that's not required, one case that I had in mind
    that wasn't using a synchronization object was the UnlockPage and I'm
    sure there are more of those sync-less cases in the 9 houndred of wakeup
    in the kernel code 8).

    >of the cases we dont rely on the synchronization of the wake_up() itself.
    >Isnt UnlockPage() atomic already (and a read/write barrier) to keep the
    >bits themselves consistent?

    In the UnlockPage case we use clear_bit because of a detail: we want to
    save a word for each struct page. If for example we'll add a new
    page->locked integer field just for the locked information we could avoid
    the clear_bit and do page->locked = 0 and then we would rely on the
    spin_lock of wake_up even on IA32. (note I'm definitely not suggesting to
    add page->locked, if something I suggest to move the referenced bit in an
    page->age field also for other reasons, then we could enforce to never
    change the page->flags unless we acquired the PG_locked bitflag because
    shrink_mmap won't change page->flags from under us anymore)

    That's what I meant when I pointed out that clear_bit is necessary for
    things like shrink_mmap where we play in the same word with unrelated bits
    at any time thus we have to be atomic to avoid to screwup the page->flags.

    >we have a number of other places that rely on clear_bit() being atomic -

    Note: clear_bit _have_ to be atomic (if it wouldn't need to be atomic then
    we wouldn't be using the load locked store conditional construct).

    _All_ places where we use clear_bit rely on clear_bit to be atomic
    (otherwise we would be faster clearing the bit in C).

    >if this isnt true anymore on Alpha then we could make it nonatomic on x86

    clear_bit _is_ atomic on Alpha (and definitely also on Sparc64), but it's
    not a memory barrier there.

    On IA32 clear_bit happens to be a memory barrier too, but that's just a
    side effect of how we have to implement atomic memory accesses on the IA32
    architecture.

    >as well - this would be a great micro-optimization eg. in the ext2fs code
    >[and other places]. We attempted this in early 2.3 but it was an obviously
    >broken thing.

    It would still be wrong (we would end corrupting page->flags).

    Andrea

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