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SubjectRe: ->direct_IO API change in current 2.4 BK
Trond Myklebust wrote:
>>>>>>" " == Jeff Garzik <> writes:
> > Having the stable API change, conditional on a define, is
> > really nasty and IMO will create maintenance and support
> > headaches down the line. I do not recall Linux VFS _ever_
> > having a hook's definition conditional. We should not start
> > now...
> direct_IO() was precisely such a conditional hook definition. It
> appeared in 2.4.15, and anybody who does not check for
> KERNEL_HAS_O_DIRECT is not backward compatible.

You misunderstand. The 2.4.15 direct_IO hook was _not_ conditionally
defined. It appeared in the middle of a stable series, yes. It has a
feature macro, yes. But the definition of the hook in
include/linux/fs.h does not _change_ based on a define. That is what I
mean by a conditional hook definition.

It is far less trouble for everyone to add a new hook, instead of
changing an existing hook, in the middle of a stable series.

> To comment further: There is at least one example I can think of which
> was exactly equivalent to the proposed change, namely the redefinition
> of the filldir_t type in 2.4.9. It was admittedly not documented using
> a define...

No doubt you can find more :) That doesn't make the right thing to do,
though :)

> Note: We could at the same time replace the name direct_IO() with
> direct_IO2() (that has several precedents). There are currently only
> a small number of filesystems that provide O_DIRECT, and converting
> them all is (as has been pointed out before) trivial...

We cannot just-fix-up filesystems which are not in-tree, which is what
the KERNEL_HAS_O_DIRECT2 define would be mainly used for. In-tree
filesystems would just unconditionally use the new, or old, interface as
they chose.

> The problem with read_inode2() was rather that it overloaded the the
> existing iget4() interface...

The higher-level problem was that we didn't want to change the VFS
API... otherwise we could have simply used the new interface, and
converted all in-tree filesystems.


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