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SubjectRe: [patch 0/9] mutex subsystem, -V4
Date
Hi,

On Sunday 25 December 2005 23:54, Ingo Molnar wrote:

> > [...] I also haven't hardly seen any discussion about why semaphores
> > the way they are. Linus did suspect there is a wakeup bug in the
> > semaphore, but there was no conclusive followup to that.
>
> no conclusive follow-up because ... they are too complex for people to
> answer such questions off the cuff? Something so frequently used in
> trivial ways should have the complexity of that typical use, not the
> complexity of the theoretical use. There is no problem with semaphores,
> other than that they are not being used as semaphores all that often.

It shouldn't be that out of the blue for you. I don't mind the whole concept
of mutexes and I agree that that's what most semaphores are used for. Please
stop for a moment trying to sell mutexes, the basic question I'd like to get
answered is, what is the worst-case scenerio if we convert everything to
mutexes?
To make it very clear: I'm not arguing against mutexes, I only want a look at
the complete picture, I don't only want to see the undoubted advantages, but
also what are the risks? Is the semaphore wakeup behaviour really only a bug
or does it fix some problem that just nobody remembers (and maybe even
doesn't exist anymore)? What about the fairness issues mentioned, how easy is
it to starve waiters?
Ingo, you're working on it already for a while, so I would expect you already
thought about possible problems already, so why don't you take a look at the
risks for us instead of just explaining the advantages? What are the chances
we end up with semaphores just under a different name? Are there other
possible problems, which then can be only solved e.g. by adding priority
inheritance?
The point of this is to be prepared for any predictable problem, since this
change in its consequence is rather huge and we don't have the luxury of a
single development tree anymore, which is used by most developers.

bye, Roman

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