Re: [PATCH] tools/memory-model: document the "one-time init" pattern

From: Matthew Wilcox
Date: Mon Jul 27 2020 - 11:28:50 EST

On Mon, Jul 27, 2020 at 11:17:46AM -0400, Alan Stern wrote:
> Given a type "T", an object x of type pointer-to-T, and a function
> "func" that takes various arguments and returns a pointer-to-T, the
> accepted API for calling func once would be to create once_func() as
> follows:
> T *once_func(T **ppt, args...)
> {
> static DEFINE_MUTEX(mut);
> T *p;
> p = smp_load_acquire(ppt); /* Mild optimization */
> if (p)
> return p;
> mutex_lock(mut);
> p = smp_load_acquire(ppt);
> if (!p) {
> p = func(args...);
> if (!IS_ERR_OR_NULL(p))
> smp_store_release(ppt, p);
> }
> mutex_unlock(mut);
> return p;
> }
> Users then would have to call once_func(&x, args...) and check the
> result. Different x objects would constitute different "once"
> domains.
> In fact, the only drawback I can think of is that because this relies
> on a single mutex for all the different possible x's, it might lead to
> locking conflicts (if func had to call once_func() recursively, for
> example). In most reasonable situations such conflicts would not
> arise.

Another drawback for this approach relative to my get_foo() approach
upthread is that, because we don't have compiler support, there's no
enforcement that accesses to 'x' go through once_func(). My approach
wraps accesses in a deliberately-opaque struct so you have to write
some really ugly code to get at the raw value, and it's just easier to
call get_foo().