Re: Linux 2.6.39-rc3

From: H. Peter Anvin
Date: Wed Apr 13 2011 - 22:03:47 EST

On 04/13/2011 04:39 PM, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> - Choice #2: understand exactly _what_ goes wrong, and fix it
> analytically (ie by _understanding_ the problem, and being able to
> solve it exactly, and in a way you can argue about without having to
> resort to "magic happens").
> Now, the whole analytic approach (aka "computer sciency" approach),
> where you can actually think about the problem without having any
> pesky "reality" impact the solution is obviously the one we tend to
> prefer. Sadly, it's seldom the one we can use in reality when it comes
> to things like resource allocation, since we end up starting off with
> often buggy approximations of what the actual hardware is all about
> (ie broken firmware tables).
> So I'd love to know exactly why one random number works, and why
> another one doesn't. But as long as we do _not_ know the "Why" of it,
> we will have to revert.

Yes. However, even if we *do* revert (and the time is running short on
not reverting) I would like to understand this particular one, simply
because I think it may very well be a problem that is manifesting itself
in other ways on other systems.

The other thing that this has uncovered is that we already have a bunch
of complete b*llsh*t magic numbers in this path, some of which are
trivially shown to be wrong or at least completely arbitrary, so there
are more issues here :(


H. Peter Anvin, Intel Open Source Technology Center
I work for Intel. I don't speak on their behalf.
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