Re: [PATCH 3/6] dax: add tracepoint infrastructure, PMD tracing

From: Mike Marshall
Date: Fri Nov 25 2016 - 15:37:15 EST

> We do have filesystem code that is just disgusting. As an example:
> fs/afs/ tends to have these crazy "_enter()/_exit()" macros in every
> single function.

Hmmm... we have "gossip" statements in Orangefs which can be triggered with
a debugfs knob... lots of functions have a gossip statement at the
top... is that


On Fri, Nov 25, 2016 at 2:51 PM, Linus Torvalds
<torvalds@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 11:37 PM, Al Viro <viro@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> My impression is that nobody (at least kernel-side) wants them to be
>> a stable ABI, so long as nobody in userland screams about their code
>> being broken, everything is fine. As usual, if nobody notices an ABI
>> change, it hasn't happened. The question is what happens when somebody
>> does.
> Right. There is basically _no_ "stable API" for the kernel anywhere,
> it's just an issue of "you can't break workflow for normal people".
> And if somebody writes his own trace scripts, and some random trace
> point goes away (or changes semantics), that's easy: he can just fix
> his script. Tracepoints aren't ever going to be stable in that sense.
> But when then somebody writes a trace script that is so useful that
> distros pick it up, and people start using it and depending on it,
> then _that_ trace point may well have become effectively locked in
> stone.
> That's happened once already with the whole powertop thing. It didn't
> get all that widely spread, and the fix was largely to improve on
> powertop to the point where it wasn't a problem any more, but we've
> clearly had one case of this happening.
> But I suspect that something like powertop is fairly unusual. There is
> certainly room for similar things in the VFS layer (think "better
> vmstat that uses tracepoints"), but I suspect the bulk of tracepoints
> are going to be for random debugging (so that developers can say
> "please run this script") rather than for an actual user application
> kind of situation.
> So I don't think we should be _too_ afraid of tracepoints either. When
> being too anti-tracepoint is a bigger practical problem than the
> possible problems down the line, the balance is wrong.
> As long as tracepoints make sense from a higher standpoint (ie not
> just random implementation detail of the day), and they aren't
> everywhere, they are unlikely to cause much problem.
> We do have filesystem code that is just disgusting. As an example:
> fs/afs/ tends to have these crazy "_enter()/_exit()" macros in every
> single function. If you want that, use the function tracer. That seems
> to be just debugging code that has been left around for others to
> stumble over. I do *not* believe that we should encourage that kind of
> "machine gun spray" use of tracepoints.
> But tracing actual high-level things like IO and faults? I think that
> makes perfect sense, as long as the data that is collected is also the
> actual event data, and not so much a random implementation issue of
> the day.
> Linus
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