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SubjectRe: [PATCH] make cancel_rearming_delayed_work() reliable
Hello Tejun,

On 05/16, Tejun Heo wrote:
> >> lock is read arrier, unlock is write barrier.
> Let's say there's a shared data structure protected by a spinlock and
> two threads are accessing it.
> 1. thr1 locks spin
> 2. thr1 updates data structure
> 3. thr1 unlocks spin
> 4. thr2 locks spin
> 5. thr2 accesses data structure
> 6. thr2 unlocks spin
> If spin_unlock is not a write barrier and spin_lock is not a read
> barrier, nothing guarantees memory accesses from step#5 will see the
> changes made in step#2. Memory fetch can occur during updates in step#2
> or even before that.

Ah, but this is something different. Both lock/unlock are full barriers,
but they protect only one direction. A memory op must not leak out of the
critical section, but it may leak in.

A = B; // 1
lock(); // 2
C = D; // 3

this can be re-ordered to

lock(); // 2
C = D; // 3
A = B; // 1

but 2 and 3 must not be re-ordered.

To be sure, I contacted Paul E. McKenney privately, and his reply is

> No. See for example IA64 in file include/asm-ia64/spinlock.h,
> line 34 for spin_lock() and line 92 for spin_unlock(). The
> spin_lock() case uses a ,acq completer, which will allow preceding
> reads to be reordered into the critical section. The spin_unlock()
> uses the ,rel completer, which will allow subsequent writes to be
> reordered into the critical section. The locking primitives are
> guaranteed to keep accesses bound within the critical section, but
> are free to let outside accesses be reordered into the critical
> section.
> Download the Itanium Volume 2 manual:
> Table 2.3 on page 2:489 (physical page 509) shows an example of how
> the rel and acq completers work.

> > Could you also look at
> >
> >
> > and, in particular,
> >
> This is because spin_lock() isn't a write barrier, right? I totally
> agree with you there.

Yes, but in fact I think wake_up() needs a full mb() semantics (which we
don't have _in theory_), because try_to_wake_up() first checks task->state
and does nothing if it is TASK_RUNNING.

That is why I think that smp_mb__before_spinlock() may be useful not only
for workqueue.c


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