Re: [PATCH v4 5/7] fs: prioritize and separate direct_io from dax_io

From: Dan Williams
Date: Thu May 05 2016 - 12:24:26 EST

On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 8:22 AM, Christoph Hellwig <hch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Thu, May 05, 2016 at 08:15:32AM -0700, Dan Williams wrote:
>> > Agreed - makig O_DIRECT less direct than not having it is plain stupid,
>> > and I somehow missed this initially.
>> Of course I disagree because like Dave argues in the msync case we
>> should do the correct thing first and make it fast later, but also
>> like Dave this arguing in circles is getting tiresome.
> We should do the right thing first, and make it fast later. But this
> proposal is not getting it right - it still does not handle errors
> for the fast path, but magically makes it work for direct I/O by
> in general using a less optional path for O_DIRECT. It's getting the
> worst of all choices.
> As far as I can tell the only sensible option is to:
> - always try dax-like I/O first
> - have a custom get_user_pages + rw_bytes fallback handles bad blocks
> when hitting EIO

If you're on board with more special fallbacks for dax-capable block
devices that indeed opens up the thinking. The O_DIRECT approach was
meant to keep the error clearing model close to the traditional block
device case, but yes that does constrain the implementation in
sub-optimal ways.

However, we still have the alignment problem in the rw_bytes case, how
do we communicate to the application that only writes with a certain
size/alignment will clear errors? That forced alignment assumption
was the other appeal of O_DIRECT. Perhaps we can at least start with
hole punching and block reallocation as the error clearing method
while we think more about the write-to-clear case?

> And then we need to sort out the concurrent write synchronization.
> Again there I think we absolutely have to obey Posix for the !O_DIRECT
> case and can avoid it for O_DIRECT, similar to the existing non-DAX
> semantics. If we want any special additional semantics we _will_ need
> a special O_DAX flag.

Ok, makes sense.