Re: [PATCH v2 1/8] lib/printbuf: New data structure for heap-allocated strings

From: Matthew Wilcox
Date: Sun Apr 24 2022 - 22:44:48 EST

On Sun, Apr 24, 2022 at 04:46:03PM -0700, Joe Perches wrote:
> > + * pr_human_readable_u64, pr_human_readable_s64: Print an integer with human
> > + * readable units.
> Why not extend vsprintf for this using something like %pH[8|16|32|64]
> or %pH[c|s|l|ll|uc|us|ul|ull] ?

The %pX extension we have is _cute_, but ultimately a bad idea. It
centralises all kinds of unrelated things in vsprintf.c, eg bdev_name()
and clock() and ip_addr_string().

Really, it's working around that we don't have something like Java's
StringBuffer (which I see both seq_buf and printbuf as attempting to
be). So we have this primitive format string hack instead of exposing
methods like:

void dentry_string(struct strbuf *, struct dentry *);

as an example,
if (unlikely(ino == dir->i_ino)) {
EXT4_ERROR_INODE(dir, "'%pd' linked to parent dir",

would become something like:

if (unlikely(ino == dir->i_ino)) {
struct strbuf strbuf;
strbuf_char(strbuf, '\'');
dentry_string(strbuf, dentry);
strbuf_string(strbuf, "' linked to parent dir");
EXT4_ERROR_INODE(dir, strbuf);

which isn't terribly nice, but C has sucky syntax for string
construction. Other languages have done this better, including Rust.