Philippe Gerum wrote:
> On Fri, 2010-04-02 at 13:28 +0200, Jan Kiszka wrote:
>> Gilles Chanteperdrix wrote:
>>> Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>>> Gilles Chanteperdrix wrote:
>>>>> Redirecting to xenomai core.
>>>>>
>>>>> Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>>>>> Gilles Chanteperdrix wrote:
>>>>>>> Because of __xn_exec_current, people have broken drivers, and user-space
>>>>>>> applications using T_PRIMARY as a broken way to workaround these broken
>>>>>>> drivers, and by maintaining compatibility, we let them keep their broken
>>>>>>> drivers and applications, by changing to the more natural
>>>>>>> __xn_exec_conforming and removing T_PRIMARY, we ask them to fix their
>>>>>>> drivers and applications.
>>>>>> Right goal, wrong approach for the reason I pointed out to Philippe:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We cannot map all kinds of driver requirements on a single
>>>>>> __xn_exec_current in the RTDM middle layer.
>>>>> What requirement can we not handle? It looks to me like with
>>>>> __xn_exec_conforming, we can handle any requirement.
>>>>>
>>>>> The only problem being the "double context switch" issue. But as
>>>>> Philippe said, a sane application is calling such ioctls from non
>>>>> critical code, so this is in fact a non-issue.
>>>> And this is one of the restrictions I don't want to keep for upcoming
>>>> versions. Think of a POSIX app that creates threads, even non-RT ones.
>>>> Those are automatically shadowed. If those threads perform lots of
>>>> non-RT service requests on RTDM drivers, they will suffer.
>>> If those threads perform lots of non-RT service requests on RTDM drivers
>>> at a non critical time, then no problem.
>> That's is a needless regression as we now do decisions in the wrong
>> layer without sufficient knowledge about the case. RTDM is just a
>> support layer for the driver, the logic sits in the latter.
> 
> You can't regress that much from a wrong situation. It is incorrect
> already, and this is definitely much more important than a corner case.
> As we all agreed, this is an issue that makes a number of people think
> they should or even _have to_ control the current domain their threads
> are running in. This leads to a fundamental misunderstanding about: 1)
> how to write efficient apps, 2) how to write sane drivers.
> 
> This said, I agree that making RTDM syscalls conforming may cause some
> pre-2.5.2 drivers to break, and unless there is absolutely no other
> route to get things fixed, we should avoid this. So here is another
> option I'd like we consider. Actually, it's not a single fix, but rather
> several steps to fix the situation with respect to (eager) mode
> management in RTDM drivers and elsewhere.
> 
> A few assumptions that drive the logic below:
> 
> - a shadow nrt thread running in secondary mode won't get a significant
> performance advantage with conforming calls, compared to lazy-switching
> calls (i.e. __xn_exec_current). The only advantage would come from not
> running the RTDM syscall prologue twice when calling a rt service, which
> is admittedly no big deal, in the absence of significant pressure on the
> RTDM context lock. Since we do want to make nrt shadows automatically
> switch back to secondary mode at some point, it turns out that the
> preferred mode of operation for them would not be significantly favored
> by conforming calls, even when applied to rt services.
> 
> - applications using rt_task_set_mode(...T_PRIMARY...) or the POSIX skin
> equivalent via pthead_set_mode_np() are very likely to be wrong. At
> best, they are adding a useless overhead, at worst, they are assuming
> too much from the call. E.g. stepping into such code over GDB will
> defeat the purpose of any switch to primary mode, receiving linux
> signals as well (and the nucleus may send some of them), and I take for
> granted that nobody wants utter crap like sigblock
> +set_mode(T_PRIMARY)+syscall+sigunblock to never ever show up as a
> common coding pattern in application space.
> 
> - as an illustration of the previous issue, attempting to control the
> behavior of a RTDM driver by eagerly switching to the so-called "right"
> mode before invoking some driver entry points, instead of having the
> driver implement the proper logic to handle the adaptive switch if both
> modes are supported, is definitely wrong.
> 
> - it turns out that we should find a way to leave the mode switch
> handling where it belongs to, which is in kernel space (nucleus, skins,
> and drivers), and definitely not in userland.
> 
> - there is no mode issue wrt shadow rt and plain linux tasks. The
> preferred exec mode for the latter shall be primary, and the latter only
> supports secondary mode anyway. So we are only discussing about shadow
> nrt threads, i.e. Xenomai-enabled SCHED_OTHER threads in userland.
> 
> The steps now:
> 
> - we implement the automatic switchback of shadow nrt threads to
> secondary mode, upon return from Xenomai (primary) syscalls. I am
> working on this. The most significant impact is on userland, due to the
> fastsynch support, actually. Kernel-wise, it's rather straightforward.
> The only exception to this would be when the caller owns an exclusive
> resource (like a mutex), in which case the mode downgrade should be
> postponed until the syscall releasing the last resource held returns.
> 
> - because of the previous fix, there would be no valid use case of
> forced switches to secondary mode anymore, via
> rt_task_set_mode/pthread_set_mode_np by clearing the T_PRIMARY bit. So
> we may remove that particular call form, that is most often misused.
> 
> - it turns out that __xn_exec_conforming is a misnomer, because it
> rightfully causes a Xenomai nrt thread to switch to primary mode, albeit
> that thread is inherently a secondary mode beast most of the time (at
> least it should). We want to describe a syscall that switches the caller
> to the highest domain it can reach instead, so we should rename this
> mode bit as __xn_exec_strict for instance, without changing its
> semantics.
> 
> - we provide T_CONFORMING instead of T_PRIMARY for
> rt_task_set_mode()/pthread_set_mode_np(), keeping the ABI (i.e. the bit
> number) and the effect intact for existing callers, who are using this
> to force a Xenomai-enabled rt thread back to primary mode, which could
> make sense in some rare cases. However the semantics changes: invoking
> this service from a Xenomai nrt thread would lead to a nop, because the
> preferred mode of operation is secondary, so any switch to primary shall
> be nucleus-controlled, and reverted upon syscall return asap. Changing
> the macro name should also have the useful side effect of forcing a
> serious code inspection for apps being rebuilt over 2.5.3, so that the
> reason to switch mode eagerly could be reconsidered, and the app fixed
> properly.
> 
> To sum up,
> 
> 1) rt_task_set_mode(whatever, T_PRIMARY, &oldmode) would become:
> rt_task_set_mode(whatever, T_CONFORMING, &oldmode), actually forcing
> primary mode for SCHED_FIFO Xenomai threads only. Nop otherwise.
> 
> 2) rt_task_set_mode(T_CONFORMING, whatever, &oldmode) would always beget
> -EINVAL, just because you can't ask for a thread to stop being
> conformant to its basic nature.
> 
> - then, as you pointed out, we should move the RTDM calls back to
> __xn_exec_current, and provide rtdm_is_rt_capable() to allow drivers to
> control the exec mode efficiently via the adaptive syscall scheme. This
> way, there is no more need to play the T_PRIMARY game in order to
> implement a syscall differently, depending on whether the caller is a
> Xenomai shadow, or a plain linux task. The nucleus, the skins and the
> driver always know better.

This sounds consistent to me, some valid use cases of T_PRIMARY are
preserved without keeping T_PRIMARY entirely.

-- 
                                            Gilles.

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