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SubjectRe: PATCH [3/n]: Add __snseconds_t and __SNSECONDS_T_TYPE
On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 12:52 AM, Paul Eggert <> wrote:
> On 03/15/2012 03:19 PM, H.J. Lu wrote:
> That discussion does not seem to have considered the issue
> of pointers, nor the issue of printf that Russ Allbery pointed out.
> Here's an example from Kerrisk's "The Linux Programming Interface"
> <>
>            printf("... Remaining: %ld.%09ld",
>                    (long) remain.tv_sec, remain.tv_nsec);
> The proposed change breaks code like this.

This will print the lower 32bit of remain.tv_nsec since for x32 each integer
argument lakes a register or a 8byte slot.

>>>  struct timespec t;
>>>  long *p = &t->tv_nsec;
>>> Such applications work fine now and conform to POSIX
>> GCC will complain about "incompatible pointer type".
> True, and admittedly taking the address of tv_nsec is rarer than
> printing it.  Still, it's just a warning and GCC goes ahead and builds
> the program, and such warnings are often ignored.
>> timespec is used in quite a few system calls. Checking all places
>> which need to sign-extend is quite complex.
> Many system calls copy timespec values from the kernel to the user;
> these would be unaffected.  For syscalls that copy from the user
> to the kernel, one could change glibc code like this:
>  /* The Linux kernel can in some situations update the timeout value.
>     We do not want that so use a local variable.  */
>  struct timespec tval;
>  if (timeout != NULL)
>    {
>      tval = *timeout;
>      timeout = &tval;
>    }
> (taken from glibc/sysdeps/unix/sysv/linux/pselect.c) to something like this:
>  /* The Linux kernel can in some situations update the timeout value,
>     or require a properly sign-extended timespec.  */
>  struct timespec tval;
>  if (timeout != NULL)
>    {
>      copy_timespec (&tval, timeout);
>      timeout = &tval;
>    }
> where copy_timespec is an inline function that merely copies on existing
> platforms, and also sign-extends tv_nsec on x32.  This doesn't appear complex,
> though admittedly it does slow things down slightly on x32.
> Another option, perhaps, would be to change the Linux kernel to
> know about x32 binaries and to sign-extend tv_nsec inside the kernel,
> when copying struct timespec objects from the user to the kernel.
> Yet another option, I guess, would be to change POSIX so that tv_nsec could
> be of type wider than 'long'.  However, this would seem to run afoul of
> POSIX's intent, which is that system types like suseconds_t should
> not be wider than 'long'; see
> <>.
> This constraint is to support uses like 'printf'.
> Given the likelihood of breaking programs, it may be better simply
> to conform to POSIX in this area, rather than change POSIX.

I'd prefer to change POSIX. This isn't the only place where x32 isn't
100% compatible with POSIX.

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