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SubjectRe: [RFC] Splitting kernel headers and deprecating __KERNEL__
On Mon, 2004-11-29 at 20:53 +1100, Paul Mackerras wrote:
> Linus Torvalds writes:
> > In particular, any re-organization that breaks _existing_ uses is totally
> > pointless. If you break existing uses, you might as well _not_ re-
> > organize, since if you consider kernel headers to be purely kernel-
> > internal (like they should be, but hey, reality trumps any wishes we might
> > have), then the current organization is perfectly fine.
> Recently I had some users complaining because their userspace program
> that includes <asm/atomic.h> compiles OK as a ppc64 program but not as
> a ppc32 program. The reason for that is that asm-ppc/atomic.h has
> #ifdef __KERNEL__ around the inline definitions of atomic_inc et al.,
> but asm-ppc64/atomic.h doesn't.
> My response was that they shouldn't be using <asm/atomic.h> because
> (a) it's an internal kernel header, not part of the kernel ABI, (b)
> it's not portable (it happens to work on some popular architectures,
> but won't work on all) and (c) they're really only entitled to use
> those particular inline function definitions in GPL'd programs anyway.

and (d) on x86 at least the "atomic" part of the atomic ops are #ifdef
CONFIG_SMP, which might well not be set in userland... so you get a
false sense of atomicity.

> I'd be interested to hear your take on this. Should we try to make
> our atomics easy and safe for userspace to use (including putting them
> under the LGPL)? Or can you see a better solution?

it's not the kernel's job to provide this functionality imo.
glibc could. glib does. apr does. there's several options already.
apr is BSD licensed for exanpmle, glib LGPL.

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