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    SubjectRe: [PATCH] drivers/base - fix sparse warnings


    On Thu, 13 Oct 2005, Ben Dooks wrote:
    >
    > The patch does not solve all the sparse errors generated,
    > but reduces the count significantly.

    Well, you should also then remove the _bad_ declarations.

    For example, attribute_container_init() right now is defined in
    attribute_container.c, but then it's _declared_ (with no checking) where
    it's used in init.c.

    The sparse warnign is appropriate: it was not declared where that
    declaration is actually visible to the definition, so the code basically
    isn't type-safe at all (since there's nothing that enforces the
    declaration actually matching the definition).

    You made the declaration properly visible, but you should also remove the
    bogus declaration. A declaration that isn't visible to the definition is
    always bad - since in the absense of a compiler with global visibility it
    may or may not actually match what it supposedly declares.

    I wonder if I should make sparse warn about multiple declarations..

    These days, sparse actually has some limited support for checking _global_
    visibility, and we could do cross-checking across thousands of files.
    However, the build environment isn't really very amenable to that, so
    doing a global sparse check is pretty hard in practice.

    We could possibly do a per-directory global check, which might be better
    than nothing (ie if you were to have incorrect declaration in a C file
    that is in the same directory as another C file, then we could
    cross-check).

    But the kernel kbuild environment is pretty hairy, and I wouldn't even
    know where to begin trying to do that. It's also fundamentally hard to do
    if there are per-file pre-defines (since to do a cross-check, sparse wants
    to see all C files together on the command line).

    Linus
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