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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/9] lib/sort.c: implement sort() variant taking context argument
On 26/07/2019 02.05, Andrew Morton wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Jun 2019 14:15:32 +0200 Boris Brezillon <> wrote:
>> From: Rasmus Villemoes <>
>> Our list_sort() utility has always supported a context argument that
>> is passed through to the comparison routine. Now there's a use case
>> for the similar thing for sort().
>> This implements sort_r by simply extending the existing sort function
>> in the obvious way. To avoid code duplication, we want to implement
>> sort() in terms of sort_r(). The naive way to do that is
>> static int cmp_wrapper(const void *a, const void *b, const void *ctx)
>> {
>> int (*real_cmp)(const void*, const void*) = ctx;
>> return real_cmp(a, b);
>> }
>> sort(..., cmp) { sort_r(..., cmp_wrapper, cmp) }
>> but this would do two indirect calls for each comparison. Instead, do
>> as is done for the default swap functions - that only adds a cost of a
>> single easily predicted branch to each comparison call.
>> Aside from introducing support for the context argument, this also
>> serves as preparation for patches that will eliminate the indirect
>> comparison calls in common cases.
> Acked-by: Andrew Morton <>
>> --- a/lib/sort.c
>> +++ b/lib/sort.c
>> @@ -144,6 +144,18 @@ static void do_swap(void *a, void *b, size_t size, swap_func_t swap_func)
>> swap_func(a, b, (int)size);
>> }
>> +typedef int (*cmp_func_t)(const void *, const void *);
>> +typedef int (*cmp_r_func_t)(const void *, const void *, const void *);
>> +#define _CMP_WRAPPER ((cmp_r_func_t)0L)
> Although I can't say I'm a fan of _CMP_WRAPPER. I don't understand
> what the name means. Why not simply open-code NULL in the two sites?

That's the preparation part. Once I find time to tie up the loose ends,
there'll be a

sort_by_key(base, num, swap, key)

where base must be a pointer to (array of) struct foobar, and key is the
name of an u32 or u64 (more can be added) member. Internally, that will
work by calling sort_r with a sentinel _CMP_SORT_U32 (or _CMP_SORT_U64,
...) as cmp function and offsetof(typeof(*base), key) as the priv argument.

In do_cmp, we then check whether the cmp function is a small
non-negative integer and then do the appropriate comparison directly
instead of doing an indirect call.

And this infrastructure will be shared with list_sort which will grow a
similar list_sort_by_key(). I think the actual value of _CMP_WRAPPER
will change to simplify that part, so for that reason alone I won't
hard-code NULL.

>> +static int do_cmp(const void *a, const void *b,
>> + cmp_r_func_t cmp, const void *priv)
>> +{
>> + if (cmp == _CMP_WRAPPER)
>> + return ((cmp_func_t)(priv))(a, b);
>> + return cmp(a, b, priv);
>> +}
>> +

i.e., this becomes something like

if ((unsigned long)cmp <= ...) {
if (cmp == CMP_WRAPPER)
// called from sort(), priv is the original cmp_func pointer
return ((cmp_func_t)(priv))(a, b);
// must be called from sort_by_key, priv is the offset in each struct
long offset = (long)priv;
a += offset;
b += offset;
if (cmp == CMP_U32)
return *(u32*)a > *(u32*)b;
if (cmp == CMP_u64)
return *(u64*)a > *(u64*)b;
WARN_ONCE() // should be eliminated by smart enough compiler
return 0;
return cmp(a, b, priv);

>> /**
>> * parent - given the offset of the child, find the offset of the parent.
>> * @i: the offset of the heap element whose parent is sought. Non-zero.
>> @@ -171,12 +183,13 @@ static size_t parent(size_t i, unsigned int lsbit, size_t size)
>> }
>> /**
>> - * sort - sort an array of elements
>> + * sort_r - sort an array of elements
>> * @base: pointer to data to sort
>> * @num: number of elements
>> * @size: size of each element
>> * @cmp_func: pointer to comparison function
>> * @swap_func: pointer to swap function or NULL
>> + * @priv: third argument passed to comparison function
> Passing priv==NULLis part of the interface and should be documented?

No, to sort_r() as a public function @priv is completely opaque, and the
user can pass anything he likes. Only when sort_r() is called
"internally" with a sentinel value of cmp_func (e.g. from sort() or
sort_by_key()) does the priv argument have any meaning, but that's
implementation details that should absolutely not be documented.


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