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SubjectRe: [PATCH 7/9] swap_info: swap count continuations
On Thu, 15 Oct 2009, David Rientjes wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Oct 2009, KAMEZAWA Hiroyuki wrote:
> > Hmm...maybe I don't understand the benefit of this style of data structure.
> >
> > Do we need fine grain chain ?
> > Is array of "unsigned long" counter is bad ? (too big?)
>
> I'm wondering if flex_array can be used for this purpose, which can store
> up to 261632 elements of size unsigned long with 4K pages, or whether
> finding the first available bit or weight would be too expensive.

When flex_arrays were first mooted, I did briefly wonder if we could
use them instead of vmalloc for the swap_map; but no, their interface
would slow down scan_swap_map() unacceptably.

Extensions of the swap_map are a different matter, they are seldom
referenced, and referenced just an item at a time: much better suited
to a flex_array. And looking at Jon's Doc, I see they're good for
sparse arrays, that would suit swap_map extensions very well.

However... that limit of 261632 elements rules them out here (or can
we have a flex_array of flex_arrays?), and the lack of support for
__GFP_HIGHMEM is disappointing - the current implementation of swap
count continuations does use highmem (though perhaps these pages
are so rarely needed that it actually doesn't matter).

It seems that the flex_array is a solution in search of a problem,
and that the swap_map extension is not the right problem for it.

Hugh


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