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SubjectRe: [PATCH v6 0/8] Fix year 2038 issue for sound subsystem
On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 9:37 PM Takashi Iwai <> wrote:
> On Tue, 12 Nov 2019 16:16:34 +0100, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> > I would like to propose merging this into the alsa tree after
> > the v5.5 merge window for inclusion into v5.6, to allow a good
> > amount of testing, in particular for the header changes that
> > may cause problems for user space applications.
> Agreed, it's still no urgent problem.

I actually do think it's getting urgent, anything that touches
the ABI must be done carefully and not rushed.

The urgency at the moment is that developers are starting to
deploy systems with 64-bit time_t with musl-libc making this
the default now, and 32-bit risc-v not offering 32-bit time_t at all.

At the moment, this means that audio support is broken for
them, and that needs to be fixed.

The other reason why lots of people care about moving all user
space to 64-bit time_t is that 32-bit hardware is slowly starting
to become less common. We know there will still be many
32-bit ARM systems operational in 2038, but most of them will
be on (then) 10+ year old hardware, running even older software
that already being worked on today. The longer it takes us to
stop using 32-bit time_t in user space, the more systems will
end up having to be thrown away rather than fixed.

> So now taking a quick look through the series, I find this approach is
> the way to go. Although one might get a bit more optimization after
> squeeze, it's already a good compromise between the readability and
> the efficiency.


> A slight uncertain implementation is the timer tread stuff, especially
> the conditional definition of SNDRV_TIMER_IOCTL_TREAD (IIRC, I already
> complained it in the past, too). But I have no other idea as well, so
> unless someone else gives a better option, we can live with that.

We had discussed alternatives for this one last time, and decided
to go with the solution I posted here. The main alternative would
be to change the 'timespec' in snd_timer_tread to a fixed-length
structure based on two 'long' members. This would avoid the
need to match the command with the time_t type, but the cost would
be requiring CLOCK_MONOTONIC timestamps to avoid the
overflow, and changing all application source code that requires
the type to be compatible with 'timespec'.


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