Re: Tagged pointers in the XArray

From: Matthew Wilcox
Date: Wed Aug 29 2018 - 12:17:59 EST

On Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 03:27:27PM -0700, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> I find myself caught between two traditions.
> On the one hand, the radix tree has been calling the page cache dirty &
> writeback bits "tags" for over a decade.
> On the other hand, using some of the bits _in a pointer_ as a tag has been
> common practice since at least the 1960s.
> and
> EROFS wants to use tagged pointers in the radix tree / xarray. Right now,
> they're building them by hand, which is predictably grotty-looking.
> I think it's reasonable to provide this functionality as part of the
> XArray API, _but_ it's confusing to have two different things called tags.
> I've done my best to document my way around this, but if we want to rename
> the things that the radix tree called tags to avoid the problem entirely,
> now is the time to do it. Anybody got a Good Idea?

I have two ideas now.

First, we could rename radix tree tags to xarray marks. That is,

xas_for_each_marked() { }

Second, we could call the tagged pointers typed pointers. That is,

void *xa_mk_type(void *p, unsigned int type);
void *xa_to_ptr(void *entry);
int xa_ptr_type(void *entry);

Any better ideas, or violent revulsion to either of the above ideas?