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Re: [RFC][PATCH 0/2] aarch64: Add optimized ASIMD versions of sinf/cosf

On Tuesday 13 June 2017 06:58 PM, Szabolcs Nagy wrote:
> i didnt say i rejected his code, but that duplicated
> effort is not good.

OK, but but wasn't clear from the context of the message.  I agree that
duplication is wasteful, but it's not really that bad if it brings out
different implementations that can be weighed and improved upon.

> asm is not acceptable even if it's slightly faster.
> (fix the compiler in that case)
> asm code maintenance is a huge problem in glibc,
> in the long term generic code is better in a lot
> of domains, the sinf/cosf code is such a case,
> there is no special instruction that helps them
> that the compiler cannot easily generate.

I'm going to disagree with this even though I agree with the general
premise that C > assembly for maintenance.  If someone comes up with an
assembly implementation that is significantly (the definition of
'significant' may vary from function to function) faster that cannot be
implemented in the compiler in the current release, it makes sense to
carry that implementation in glibc until the compiler can catch up
provided that all other criteria (accuracy, readability, etc.) are met.

Additionally, the source of the implementation is important.  Now if
this patch came from a university student who does not intend to follow
up and maintain her patch then I would be (slightly, again it depends on
the magnitude of the improvement) inclined to agree with you since it
puts the maintenance overhead on us, but in this case the source is
reliable, so that is an added advantage.

> i didn't say it's a glibc requirement, you have to use
> common sense here: there are algorithms that are so
> useful outside of glibc and so generic that it is just
> unnecessary complication to develop them within glibc
> (obviously it's not a complication for glibc, but for
> everybody else, and i cant impose this procedure on
> others, but i still think this is the better for the
> larger community).

Yes, I did not disagree on the merit of the requirement, I am arguing
about our ability to gate that effectively.  It might be useful to come
up with a wiki doc (or enhancing the contribution checklist) to specify

But then, as a project we are also ideologically bound to LGPL, so again
I wonder if doing this conflicts with that ideology.  I personally am
more liberal about this, but I don't know if that is the general opinion
of the community.

> if one tests the same input in a loop that does
> not measure the effect of branches and thus we end
> up breaking up the input space into many special
> ranges, however in practice that's not optimal.

Currently the microbenchmark framework tests the same input in a loop a
specific number of times to get a large enough number that a single
iteration gives a stable mean and then tests inputs in a loop - I agree
that this is cheating a bit since it eliminates cache effects as well as
branches.  It will need a pretty straightforward fix to run only once
for a single input and it will do what you want, i.e. measure the effect
of branches.

Maybe Ashwin could patch the framework as well when he posts his patch.


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