Re: [PATCH v16 02/12] namei: allow nd_jump_link() to produce errors

From: Aleksa Sarai
Date: Sat Nov 16 2019 - 13:10:11 EST

On 2019-11-16, Al Viro <viro@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 16, 2019 at 11:27:52AM +1100, Aleksa Sarai wrote:
> > + error = nd_jump_link(&path);
> > + if (error)
> > + path_put(&path);
> > + error = nd_jump_link(&ns_path);
> > + if (error)
> > + path_put(&ns_path);
> > + error = nd_jump_link(&path);
> > + if (error)
> > + path_put(&path);
> 3 calls. Exact same boilerplate in each to handle a failure case.
> Which spells "wrong calling conventions"; it's absolutely clear
> that we want that path_put() inside nd_jump_link().
> The rule should be this: reference that used to be held in
> *path is consumed in any case. On success it goes into
> nd->path, on error it's just dropped, but in any case, the
> caller has the same refcounting environment to deal with.
> If you need the same boilerplate cleanup on failure again and again,
> the calling conventions are wrong and need to be fixed.

Will do.

> And I'm not sure that int is the right return type here, to be honest.
> void * might be better - return ERR_PTR() or NULL, so that the value
> could be used as return value of ->get_link() that calls that thing.

I don't agree, given that the few callers of ns_get_path() are
inconsistent with regards to whether they should use IS_ERR() or check
for NULL, not to mention that "void *error" reads to me as being very
odd given how common "int error" is throughout the kernel. There's also
the "error == ERR_PTR(-EAGAIN)" checks which also read as being quite
odd too.

But the main motivating factor for changing it was that the one use
where "void *" is useful (proc_ns_get_link) becomes needlessly ugly
because of the "nd_jump_link() can return errors" change:

error = ERR_PTR(nd_jump_link(&ns_path));

Or probably (if you don't want to rely on ERR_PTR(0) == NULL):

int err = nd_jump_link(&ns_path);
if (err)
error = ERR_PTR(err);

Aleksa Sarai
Senior Software Engineer (Containers)
SUSE Linux GmbH

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