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SubjectRe: [PATCH] tools: libbpf: Add bpf_object__open_buffer_xattr
Thanks for the feeback!

I will be happy to update this patch once there is consensus about
the design of the API for future additions.

On 30-Sep 09:12, Toke Høiland-Jørgensen wrote:
> Andrii Nakryiko <andrii.nakryiko@gmail.com> writes:
>
> > On Fri, Sep 27, 2019 at 6:11 AM KP Singh <kpsingh@chromium.org> wrote:
> >>
> >> From: KP Singh <kpsingh@google.com>
> >>
> >> Introduce struct bpf_object_open_buffer_attr and an API function,
> >> bpf_object__open_xattr, as the existing API, bpf_object__open_buffer,
> >> doesn't provide a way to specify neither the "needs_kver" nor
> >> the "flags" parameter to the internal call to the
> >> __bpf_object__open which makes it inconvenient for loading BPF
> >> objects that do not require a kernel version from a buffer.
> >>
> >> The flags attribute in the bpf_object_open_buffer_attr is set
> >> to MAPS_RELAX_COMPAT when used in bpf_object__open_buffer to
> >> maintain backward compatibility as this was added to load objects
> >> with non-compat map definitions in:
> >>
> >> commit c034a177d3c8 ("bpf: bpftool, add flag to allow non-compat map
> >> definitions")
> >>
> >> and bpf_object__open_buffer was called with this flag enabled (as a
> >> boolean true value).
> >>
> >> The existing "bpf_object__open_xattr" cannot be modified to
> >> maintain API compatibility.
> >>
> >> Reported-by: Anton Protopopov <a.s.protopopov@gmail.com>
> >> Signed-off-by: KP Singh <kpsingh@google.com>
> >> ---
> >> tools/lib/bpf/libbpf.c | 39 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-----------
> >> tools/lib/bpf/libbpf.h | 10 ++++++++++
> >> tools/lib/bpf/libbpf.map | 5 +++++
> >> 3 files changed, 43 insertions(+), 11 deletions(-)
> >>
> >> This patch is assimilates the feedback from:
> >>
> >> https://lore.kernel.org/bpf/20190815000330.12044-1-a.s.protopopov@gmail.com/
> >>
> >> I have added a "Reported-by:" tag, but please feel free to update to
> >> "Co-developed-by" if it's more appropriate from an attribution perspective.
> >>
> >> diff --git a/tools/lib/bpf/libbpf.c b/tools/lib/bpf/libbpf.c
> >> index 2b57d7ea7836..1f1f2e92832b 100644
> >> --- a/tools/lib/bpf/libbpf.c
> >> +++ b/tools/lib/bpf/libbpf.c
> >> @@ -2752,25 +2752,42 @@ struct bpf_object *bpf_object__open(const char *path)
> >> return bpf_object__open_xattr(&attr);
> >> }
> >>
> >> -struct bpf_object *bpf_object__open_buffer(void *obj_buf,
> >> - size_t obj_buf_sz,
> >> - const char *name)
> >> +struct bpf_object *
> >> +bpf_object__open_buffer_xattr(struct bpf_object_open_buffer_attr *attr)
> >
> > I have few concerns w.r.t. adding API in this form and I'm going to
> > use this specific case to discuss more general problem of API design,
> > ABI compatibility, and extending APIs with extra optional arguments.
> >
> > 1. In general, I think it would be good for libbpf API usability to
> > use the following pattern consistently (moving forward):
> >
> > T1 some_api_function(T2 mandatory_arg1, ..., TN mandatory_arg, struct
> > something_opts *opts)
> >
> > So all the mandatory arguments that have to be provides are specified
> > explicitly as function arguments. That makes it very clear what API
> > expects to get always.
> > opts (we use both opts and attrs, but opts seems better because its
> > optional options :), on the other hand, is stuff that might be
> > omitted, so if user doesn't care about tuning behavior of API and
> > wants all-defaults behavior, then providing NULL here should just
> > work.
> >
> > So in this case for bpf_object__open_buffer_xattr(), it could look like this:
> >
> > struct bpf_object* bpf_object__open_buffer_opts(void *buf, size_t sz,
> > struct bpf_object_open_opts* opts);
>
> I like this idea! Sensible defaults that can be selected by just passing
> NULL as opts is a laudable goal.
>
> > 2. Now, we need to do something with adding new options without
> > breaking ABIs. With all the existing extra attributes, when we need to
> > add new field to that struct, that can break old code that's
> > dynamically linked to newer versions of libbpf, because their
> > attr/opts struct is too short for new code, so that could cause
> > segment violation or can make libbpf read garbage for those newly
> > added fields. There are basically three ways we can go about this:
> >
> > a. either provide the size of opts struct as an extra argument to each
> > API that uses options, so:
> > struct bpf_object* bpf_object__open_buffer_opts(void *buf, size_t sz,
> > struct bpf_object_open_opts* opts, size_t opts_sz);
> >
> > b. make it mandatory that every option struct has to have as a first
> > field its size, so:
> >
> > struct bpf_object_open_opts {
> > size_t sz;
> > /* now we can keep adding attrs */
> > };
> >
> > Now, when options are provided, we'll read first sizeof(size_t) bytes,
> > validate it for sanity and then we'll know which fields are there or
> > not.
> >
> > Both options have downside of user needing to do extra initialization,
> > but it's not too bad in either case. Especially in case b), if user
> > doesn't care about extra options, then no extra steps are necessary.
> > In case a, we can pass NULL, 0 at the end, so also not a big deal.
> >
> > c. Alternatively, we can do symbol versioning similar how xsk.c
> > started doing it, and handle those options struct size differences
> > transparently. But that's a lot of extra boilerplate code in libbpf
> > and I'd like to avoid that, if possible.
>
> My hunch is that we're kidding ourselves if we think we can avoid the
> symbol versioning. And besides, checking struct sizes needs boilerplate
> code as well, boilerplate that will fail at runtime instead of compile
> time if it's done wrong.
>
> So IMO we're better off just doing symbol version right from the
> beginning.

I see there is already a patch for introducing symbol versioning in
libbpf:

https://lore.kernel.org/bpf/20190928231916.3054271-1-yhs@fb.com/

- KP

>
> > 3. Now, the last minor complain is about flags field. It's super
> > generic. Why not have a set of boolean fields in a struct, in this
> > case to allow to specify strict/compat modes. Given we solve struct
> > extensibility issue, adding new bool fields is not an issue at all, so
> > the benefit of flags field are gone. The downside of flags field is
> > that it's very opaque integer, you have to go and read sources to
> > understand all the intended use cases and possible flags, which is
> > certainly not a great user experience.
>
> This I agree with :)
>
> -Toke
>

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