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SubjectRe: READ_ONCE() + STACKPROTECTOR_STRONG == :/ (was Re: [GIT PULL] Please pull powerpc/linux.git powerpc-5.5-2 tag (topic/kasan-bitops))
On Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 10:06 AM Will Deacon <will@kernel.org> wrote:
>
> I'm currently trying to solve the issue by removing volatile from the bitop
> function signatures

I really think that's the wrong thing to do.

The bitop signature really should be "volatile" (and it should be
"const volatile" for test_bit, but I'm not sure anybody cares).

Exactly because it's simply valid to say "hey, my data is volatile,
but do an atomic test of this bit". So it might be volatile in the
caller.

Now, I generally frown on actual volatile data structures - because
the data structure volatility often depends on _context_. The same
data might be volatile in one context (when you do some optimistic
test on it without locking), but 100% stable in another (when you do
have a lock).

So I don't want to see "volatile" on data definitions ("jiffies" being
the one traditional exception), but marking things volatile in code
(because you know you're working with unlocked data) and then passing
them down to various helper functions - including the bitops ones - is
quite traditional and accepted.

In other words, 'volatile" should be treated the same way "const" is
largely treated in C.

A pointer to "const" data doesn't mean that the data is read-only, or
that it cannot be modified _elsewhere_, it means that within this
particular context and this copy of the pointer we promise not to
write to it.

Similarly, a pointer to "volatile" data doesn't mean that the data
might not be stable once you take a lock, for example. So it's ok to
have volatile pointers even if the data declaration itself isn't
volatile - you're stating something about the context, not something
fundamental about the data.

And in the context of the bit operations, "volatile" is the correct thing to do.

Linus

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