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SubjectRe: Deleting timers
On Wed, 1 Jul 2009, Andrew Morton wrote:

> On Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:50:54 -0400 (EDT) Alan Stern <stern@rowland.harvard.edu> wrote:
>
> > Thomas:
>
> I'm not Thomas, but I play one on TV.
>
> > The major difference -- in fact, almost the only difference -- between
> > del_timer() and try_to_del_timer_sync() is that try_to_del_timer_sync
> > returns a special code (-1) if the timer couldn't be deleted because it
> > is currently running, whereas del_timer doesn't check this.
>
> And del_timer() is heaps faster against a not-pending timer. I have a
> vague memory that there are some callsites which do this quite a lot.
>
> And try_to_del_timer_sync() forgot to do timer_stats_timer_clear_start_info().
>
> > Furthermore, the "_sync" in the name suggests that
> > try_to_del_timer_sync will wait until a running timer has finished,
> > which it clearly does not do.
>
> yup.
>
> > Despite these facts, the kerneldoc for try_to_del_timer_sync states
> > that it must not be called in interrupt context. Why not? Isn't that
> > advice simply wrong?
>
> : commit fd450b7318b75343fd76b3d95416853e34e72c95
> : Author: Oleg Nesterov <oleg@tv-sign.ru>
> : AuthorDate: Thu Jun 23 00:08:59 2005 -0700
> : Commit: Linus Torvalds <torvalds@ppc970.osdl.org>
> : CommitDate: Thu Jun 23 09:45:16 2005 -0700
> :
> : [PATCH] timers: introduce try_to_del_timer_sync()
> :
> : This patch splits del_timer_sync() into 2 functions. The new one,
> : try_to_del_timer_sync(), returns -1 when it hits executing timer.
> :
> : It can be used in interrupt context, or when the caller hold locks which
> : can prevent completion of the timer's handler.
> :
> : NOTE. Currently it can't be used in interrupt context in UP case, because
> : ->running_timer is used only with CONFIG_SMP.
> :
> : Should the need arise, it is possible to kill #ifdef CONFIG_SMP in
> : set_running_timer(), it is cheap.
> :
>
> The changelog is somewhat vodka-fogged, but there is a bit of a problem
> there.

Okay, thanks. That makes sense.

> > With this in mind, would there be any objection if I renamed it to
> > try_to_del_timer(), removed the comment forbidding it to be used in
> > interrupt context, and made it available even on non-SMP builds?
>
> Sounds sane to me, if the set_running_timer() change is also made.

It turns out I probably don't need the enhanced functionality after
all. So never mind for now...

Alan Stern



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