Gilles Chanteperdrix wrote:
> Jan Kiszka wrote:
>> Gilles Chanteperdrix wrote:
>>> Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> looking into the "xeno_in_primary_mode" thing I wondered how to make the
>>>> thread state quickly retrievable. Going via pthread_getspecific as we do
>>>> for xeno_get_current appears logical - but not optimal. Though
>>>> getspecific is optimized for speed, it remains a function call, a few
>>>> sanity checks, and only finally a TLS variable access. That could be
>>>> achieved in a much lighter way by using a __thread variable.
>>>> But can we assume that all target we support also support the __thread
>>>> storage class? TLS is surely mandatory now: I assume pthread_getspecific
>>>> would become non-RT safe without it, right? Is there anything we
>>>> can/must check for during configure to verify __thread support?
>>> I really think that this optimization is not worth the trouble. Anyway,
>> As long as we cannot specify the amount of "trouble", it's hard to
>> decide. Me current feeling is that it should rather simplify the
>> implementation + save us quite a few ops in the fast path (even more
>> with upcoming thread-mode check).
> The trouble is to make some reliable detections in the configure script,
> so that the user will know early that Xenomai can not work with its
> current toolchain. And to make this detection work with uclibc as well
> as with glibc, gcc 4 versus gcc 3, etc...

Will work out a test program for configure.

> Besides, pthread_getspecific can be implemented pretty efficiently in
> user-space without __thread support: using a hash table would be enough.
>  So, if we rely on pthread_getspecific, we do not have to know if ptd
> are implemented with some hardware trick.

It will always remain orders of magnitude heavier than __thread
variables which are a) inlined and b) should only need two memory
accesses at worst. Moreover, it is clearly the future, while the
importance of pthread_getspecific will decrease over the time. The
__thread storage class is C99 standard (though its implementation
remains a separate topic).

>>> I have one question: is an implementation guaranteed to support more
>>> than one __thread variable? Because from ARM implementation I would say
>>> that ARM has only one __thread variable.
>> That would be weird - there is no such limitation known to me. Anyway,
>> you could easily verify this with a simple test program I guess. /me
>> also wonders how the glibc/NPTL is maintaining certain per-thread
>> variables (and there are surely > 1) internally.
> I would say the __thread variable is used to store an array, which is,
> according to what Philippe said yesterday, turned into a multilevel
> structure when creating more than 32 keys.
> At the hardware level, I am pretty sure ARM has only one per thread
> token. However I do not know how it is used to implement __thread
> variable (or variables).

Will look into some ELF definitions on this, but that there is a single
hw token (CPU register) for accessing the TLS root is surely not
uncommon. The rest is linker magic, specifically when it comes to
dealing with offsets of cross-lib TLS variables.


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