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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/6] Symbol namespaces
On Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 02:21:19PM +0200, Martijn Coenen wrote:
> As of Linux 4.17, there are more than 30000 exported symbols
> in the kernel. There seems to be some consensus amongst
> kernel devs that the export surface is too large, and hard
> to reason about.
>
> Generally, these symbols fall in one of these categories:
> 1) Symbols actually meant for drivers
> 2) Symbols that are only exported because functionality is
> split over multiple modules, yet they really shouldn't
> be used by modules outside of their own subsystem
> 3) Symbols really only meant for in-tree use
>
> When module developers try to upstream their code, it
> regularly turns out that they are using exported symbols
> that they really shouldn't be using. This problem is even
> bigger for drivers that are currently out-of-tree, which
> may be using many symbols that they shouldn't be using,
> and that break when those symbols are removed or modified.
>
> This patch allows subsystem maintainers to partition their
> exported symbols into separate namespaces, and module
> authors to import such namespaces only when needed.
>
> This allows subsystem maintainers to more easily limit
> availability of these namespaced symbols to other parts of
> the kernel. It can also be used to partition the set of
> exported symbols for documentation purposes; for example,
> a set of symbols that is really only used for debugging
> could be in a "SUBSYSTEM_DEBUG" namespace.

To give people a bit more background here, this is something that both
Andi Kleen and I talked about over a decade ago. Martijn based his work
on Andi's original patches and made them all work well, something that I
was unable to do :)

His addition of using the build system to automatically generate a patch
for a subsystem based on the symbol namespace changes is frickin
amazing.

Great work here, this is something that I have wanted for the kernel for
a long time.

greg k-h

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