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    SubjectRe: [RFC, PATCH -rt] NMI-safe mb- and atomic-free RT RCU

    On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, Paul E. McKenney wrote:

    > On Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 05:48:57PM -0700, Bill Huey wrote:
    >> On Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 05:02:31PM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
    >>> On Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 12:53:56PM -0700, Bill Huey wrote:
    >>>> On Thu, Jul 27, 2006 at 08:46:37AM -0700, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
    >>>>> A possible elaboration would be to keep a linked list of tasks preempted
    >>>>> in their RCU read-side critical sections so that they can be further
    >>>>> boosted to the highest possible priority (numerical value of zero,
    >>>>> not sure what the proper symbol is) if the grace period takes too many
    >>>>> jiffies to complete. Another piece is priority boosting when blocking
    >>>>> on a mutex from within an RCU read-side critical section.
    >>>> I'm not sure how folks feel about putting something like that in the
    >>>> scheduler path since it's such a specialized cases. Some of the scheduler
    >>>> folks might come out against this.
    >>> They might well. And the resulting discussion might reveal a better
    >>> way. Or it might well turn out that the simple approach of boosting
    >>> to an intermediate level without the list will suffice.
    >> Another thing. What you mention above is really just having a set of owners
    >> for the read side and not really a preemption list tracking thing with RCU
    >> and special scheduler path. The more RCU does this kind of thing the more
    >> it's just like a traditional read/write lock but with more parallelism since
    >> it's holding on to read side owners on a per CPU basis.
    > There are certainly some similarities between a priority-boosted RCU
    > read-side critical section and a priority-boosted read-side rwlock.
    > In theory, the crucial difference is that as long as one has sufficient
    > memory, one can delay priority-boosting the RCU read-side critical
    > sections without hurting update-side latency (aside from the grace period
    > delays, of course).
    > So I will no doubt be regretting my long-standing advice to use
    > synchronize_rcu() over call_rcu(). Sooner or later someone will care
    > deeply about the grace-period latency. In fact, I already got some
    > questions about that at this past OLS. ;-)

    Yick!! Do people really expect these things to finish in a predictable
    amount of time?
    This reminds me of C++ hackers starting to code Java. They want to use the
    finalizer to close files etc. just as they use the destructor in C++, but
    can't understand that they have to wait until the garbage collector has
    RCU is a primitive kind of garbage collector. You should never depend on
    how long it is about doing it's work, just that it will get done at some


    >> This was close to the idea I had for extending read/write locks to be more
    >> parallel friendly for live CPUs, per CPU owner bins on individual cache lines
    >> (I'll clarify if somebody asks), but the use of read/write locks is seldom
    >> and in non-critical places, so just moving the code fully to RCU would be a
    >> better solution. The biggest problem is to scan or denote to some central
    >> structure (task struct, lock struct) when you were either in or out of the
    >> reader section without costly atomic operations. That's a really huge cost
    >> as you know already (OLS slides).
    > Yep -- create something sort of like brlock, permitting limited read-side
    > parallelism, and also permitting the current exclusive-lock priority
    > inheritance to operate naturally.
    > Easy enough to do with per-CPU variables if warranted. Although the
    > write-side lock-acquisition latency can get a bit ugly, since you have
    > to acquire N locks.
    > I expect that we all (myself included) have a bit of learning left to
    > work out the optimal locking strategy so as to provide both realtime
    > latency and performance/scalability. ;-)
    > Thanx, Paul
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