Re: gcc inlining heuristics was Re: [PATCH -v7][RFC]: mutex:implement adaptive spinning

From: Ingo Molnar
Date: Tue Jan 20 2009 - 07:39:20 EST

* Nick Piggin <npiggin@xxxxxxx> wrote:

> > > it seems like a nice opt-in thing that can be used where the aliases
> > > are verified and the code is particularly performance critical...
> >
> > Yes. I think we could use it in the kernel, although I'm not sure how
> > many cases we would ever find where we really care.
> Yeah, we don't tend to do a lot of intensive data processing, so it is
> normally the cache misses that hurt most as you noted earlier.
> Some places it might be appropriate, though. It might be nice if it can
> bring code size down too...

I checked, its size effects were miniscule [0.17%] on the x86 defconfig
kernel and it seems to be a clear loss in total cost as there would be an
ongoing maintenance cost of this weird new variant of C that language
lawyers legislated out of thin air and which departs so significantly from
time-tested C coding concepts and practices.

We'd have to work around aliasing warnings of the compiler again and again
with no upside and in fact i'd argue that the resulting code is _less_

The lack of data processing complexity in the kernel is not a surprise:
the kernel is really just a conduit/abstractor between hw and apps, and
rarely generates genuinely new information. (In fact it can be generally
considered a broken system call concept if such data processing _has_ to
be conducted somewhere in the kernel.)

( Notable exceptions would be the crypto code and the RAID5 [XOR checksum]
and RAID6 [polinomial checksums] code - but those tend to be seriously
hand-optimized already, with the most critical bits written in assembly. )

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at