I don't care that much about C11 _Generic, which is why I have always
focused on a C99 solution to the large-count problem, but I disagree with
your reasons for abandoning it.

"silently truncated at run time" is trivially addressed with -Wconversion
or -Wshorten-64-to-32.  The example program below is addressed by this.

$ clang -Wshorten-64-to-32 -c truncation.c
truncation.c:10:9: warning: implicit conversion loses integer precision:
'long long' to 'int' [-Wshorten-64-to-32]
    foo(i);
    ~~~ ^
1 warning generated.

$ gcc-9 -Wconversion -c truncation.c
truncation.c: In function 'main':
truncation.c:10:9: warning: conversion from 'long long int' to 'int' may
change value [-Wconversion]
   10 |     foo(i);
      |         ^

$ icc -Wconversion -c truncation.c
truncation.c(10): warning #1682: implicit conversion of a 64-bit integral
type to a smaller integral type (potential portability problem)
      foo(i);
          ^

In any case, incorrect programs are incorrect.  It is a
quality-of-implementation issue whether C compilers and MPI libraries
detect incorrect usage.  We have never designed MPI around people who can't
follow directions and we should not start now.

Jeff

On Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 6:59 AM Jeff Squyres (jsquyres) via mpi-forum <
mpi-forum@lists.mpi-forum.org> wrote:

> SHORT VERSION
> =============
>
> Due to the possibility of silently introducing errors into user
> applications, the BigCount WG no longer thinks that C11 _Generic is a good
> idea.  We are therefore dropping that from our proposal.  The new proposal
> will therefore essentially just be the addition of a bunch of
> MPI_Count-enabled "_x" functions in C, combined with the addition of a
> bunch of polymorphic MPI_Count-enabled interfaces in Fortran.
>
> MORE DETAIL
> ===========
>
> Joseph Schuchart raised a very important point in a recent mailing thread:
> the following C/C++ code does not raise a compiler warning:
>
> -----
> #include <stdio.h>
>
> static void foo(int j) {
>     printf("foo(j) = %d\n", j);
> }
>
> int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
>     /* 8589934592LL == 2^33 */
>     long long i = 8589934592LL + 11;
>     foo(i);
>     return 0;
> }
> -----
>
> If you compile and run this program on a commodity x86-64 platform, a) you
> won't get a warning from the compiler, and b) you'll see "11" printed out.
> I tried with gcc 9 and clang 8 -- both with the C and C++ compilers.  I
> even tried with "-Wall -pedantic".  No warnings.
>
> This is because casting from a larger int type to a smaller int type is
> perfectly valid C/C++.
>
> Because of this, there is a possibility that we could be silently
> introducing errors into user applications.  Consider:
>
> 1. An application upgrades its "count" parameters to type MPI_Count for
> all calls to MPI_Send.
>    --> Recall that "MPI_Count" already exists in MPI-3.1, and is likely of
> type (long long) on commodity x86-64 platforms
> 2. The application then uses values in that "count" parameter that are
> greater than 2^32.
>
> If the user's MPI implementation and compiler both support C11 _Generic,
> everything is great.
>
> But if either the MPI implementation or the compiler do not support C11
> _Generic, ***the "count" value will be silently truncated at run time***.
>
> This seems like a very bad idea, from a design standpoint.
>
> We have therefore come full circle: we are back to adding a bunch of "_x"
> functions for C, and there will be no polymorphism (in C).  Sorry, folks.
>
> Note that Fortran does not have similar problems:
>
> 1. Fortran compilers have supported polymorphism for 20+ years
> 2. Fortran does not automatically cast between INTEGER values of different
> sizes
>
> After much debate, the BigCount WG has decided that C11 _Generic just
> isn't worth it.  That's no reason to penalize Fortran, though.
>
> --
> Jeff Squyres
> jsquy...@cisco.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> mpi-forum mailing list
> mpi-forum@lists.mpi-forum.org
> https://lists.mpi-forum.org/mailman/listinfo/mpi-forum
>


-- 
Jeff Hammond
jeff.scie...@gmail.com
http://jeffhammond.github.io/
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