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SubjectRe: [PATCH] BUG() disassembly tweak
On Fri, 10 May 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Fri, 10 May 2002, Hugh Dickins wrote:
> >
> > Could we change the i386 BUG() macro slightly again?
>
> If it wants to be changed, I'd actually personally prefer it to be changed
> to take an explicit string instead of using the filename/linenr at all.

Aaargh, rerun! Last time I suggested a tiny mod to get BUG() working
right (not losing the registers in its message display), you had new
ideas of how it could work, saving kernel space; and Andrew implemented
that magnificently.

I thought I was the only one dissatisfied (that a disassembler cannot
make sense of this line number and filename pointer dumped into the
instruction stream after the ud2: laugh at the ingenious instructions
ksymoops shows after the ud2 these days).

> The filename/linenr one has the size problem (those absolute file names
> are _long_), and sucks when you have slight kernel version skew and
> suddenly the information isn't obviously unambiguous at all.

Absolute filenames are long, yes, but (in 2.4 anyway) few remain:
the .c filenames never came out absolute, always just leafname,
and Andrew has dealt with the vast majority of the .h filenames
from inlines (e.g. by using out_of_line_bug for them). Does the
2.5 build not work out like that?

It's really 2.4.19 that's worrying me, that a small tweak now
(exchanging line and file) can make the new style much more palatable
to disassemblers; once 2.4.19 is out, it'll be confusing to change
(disassemblers don't ususally need to know the version of what they
are disassembling: no problem for kdb, but a problem for objdump).

> It also sucks for inline functions or other users of BUG that would
> potentially want to have different output.
>
> In short, I suspect it would be nicer with
>
> kernel BUG: release_task(current)

Sure there's a case for more info; but maybe that's something else
than the simple BUG() we're used to dropping in wherever; let's fix
up what we've got now, and muse at leisure on what else to provide.

> instead of
>
> kernel BUG at /home/torvalds/v2.5/linux/exit.c:59

I don't see those - exit.c:59 would be all you see in 2.4.19-pre.
"strings vmlinux | grep /home" currently shows me just:
/home/hugh/1908H/include/linux/raid/md_k.h
/home/hugh/1908H/include/linux/nfs_page.h
/home/hugh/1908H/include/linux/nfs_page.h
/home/hugh/1908H/include/linux/nfs_page.h
/home/hugh/1908H/include/linux/nfs_page.h

> (the exact point where the BUG happens _is_ given by the EIP, so in that
> sense file and linenr are not actually all that useful. A descriptive
> string would be more readable, and equally useful at pinpointing at a
> source level).

Hackers have better things to concentrate upon than dreaming up
descriptive strings: the beauty of BUG() is that you can just drop
it in (oops, I was about to say "without thinking"). I don't deny
the case for assertions, but what Andrew provided last time around
is really pretty good, and slips down more easily with the line<->file.

Hugh

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