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Re: [PATCH v2 2/4] manual: Add documentation for pthread_tryjoin_np and pthread_timedjoin_np

On Monday 14 October 2019 at 16:15:11 -0300, Adhemerval Zanella wrote:
> On 28/09/2019 05:53, Mike Crowe wrote:
> > On Thursday 26 September 2019 at 14:26:00 -0700, Adhemerval Zanella wrote:
> >> On 18/09/2019 05:30, Mike Crowe wrote:
> >>> This documentation isn't perfect, but it's better than nothing and can
> >>> hopefully act as a basis for future improvement. In particular, although
> >>> I'm certain that the functions are MT-Safe, I'm not sure about the rest of
> >>> the @safety line.
> >>>
> >>> Yann Droneaud pointed out that pthread_timedjoin_np would wait forever if
> >>> the timeout parameter is passed as NULL. Since it's now too late to change
> >>> that, I've documented it.
> >>
> >> To which semantic do you think it would be better to change? Since this
> >> symbol are not yet in POSIX there still the possibility to change it
> >> by using a new plus a compat symbol.
> > 
> > The alternative would be to mark the timeout parameter as __nonnull and not
> > permit it to be NULL, as is the case for the other pthread timed*/clock*
> > functions. I imagine that if the functions were ever standardised then this
> > would be the case - but that doesn't look like it's on the horizon.
> > 
> > Although we wouldn't break existing binaries if we change the behaviour and
> > add a compat symbol, we could break people compiling existing source. I
> > don't think it's a serious enough problem for it to be worth even doing
> > that.
> > 
> > However, if others feel strongly about it then I'm prepared to make that
> > change.
> At least other pthread interfaces that uses a timespec as input argument
> add a nonnull on their interfaces. However they handle a null not equal:
>   - pthread_mutex_{clock,timed}lock will trigger a SEGFAULT due 
>     lll_timedlock_wait.c:31 for the contended case, it works for
>     uncontended case (where an userspace atomic operation is suffice).
>   - pthread_cond_timedwait will also trigger a SEGFAULT due
>     nptl/pthread_cond_wait.c:648.
>   - pthread_{rw,rd}lock_{clock,timed}lock will handle it as unbounded
>     time (since both pthread_rwlock_common.c and futexes call check if
>     abstime is NULL).
> > - wait forever (aka. pthread_join())        : pass NULL
> > - wait:        (aka. pthread_timedjoin_np()): pass deadline
> > - don't wait   (aka. pthread_tryjoin_np())  : pass current time
> I don't see that making pthread_timedjoin_np behaves differently than
> other pthread interfaces a good move forward. So I would avoid support
> both 'wait forever' and 'don't wait' semantic in this case.
> And POSIX also is not specific regarding timeout handling in aforementioned
> pthread interfaces. And systems that implement them do differ, for instance:
>   - FreeBSD 11.1 does not trigger any build warning or runtime error for
>     NULL argument for neither pthread_mutex_timedlock or
>     pthread_{rw,rd}lock_lock.  The pthread_cond_timedwait does return
>     EINVAL though.
>   - Solaris 11.4 seems to behave as glibc, it triggers a SEGFAULT for
>     pthread_mutex_timedlock (for *both* contended and non-contended case),
>     pthread_{rw,rd}lock_timedlock, *and* for pthread_cond_timedwait.
>   - AIX 7.2 returns EINVAL for contended pthread_mutex_timedlock case and
>     works for non-contended case. It does not trigger any runtime issue
>     for {rw,rd}lock and also returns EINVAL for pthread_cond_timedwait.
> So trying to come up with a portable error handling does not seem to
> that valuable, it leads to believe common usage is to *not* use NULL 
> value for timeout arguments.
> So I would suggest to sync with current practice and fail early for
> invalid inputs either by EINVAL or by assuming valid pointer (which
> trigger an invalid memory access and warns user that this is an invalid
> usage).

Since pthread_timedjoin_np is not new, we risk changing the behaviour of
existing code that may have come to rely on the behaviour when passing
NULL. Even if we use symbol versioning to ensure that code compiled against
old glibc continues to behave as it always did, we still risk changing the
behaviour when code is compiled against the newer glibc. If that code is
compiled with -Wnonnull and the compiler is able to determine that NULL is
being passed (which it may not if the code in question is using a wrapper
function) then a warning would be emitted which may help, but does not
guarantee that the change will be noticed.

pthread_clockjoin_np is new, so it doesn't have any legacy behaviour. We
can mark the timeout as __nonnull. We could check the argument against NULL
and return EINVAL, but it seems that the compiler warns when checking
__nonnull arguments and just throws the check away[1] so we're probably
stuck with potentially faulting in that situation.

In my view, changing the behaviour of pthread_timedjoin_np now is of little
benefit compared to the risk of breaking existing code. That ship has
sailed. Having decided that, I thought that making pthread_clockjoin_np
behave differently to pthread_timedjoin_np would be confusing, so I settled
on it behaving the same way.

So, what are you proposing we should do? Change the behaviour of the
existing pthread_timedjoin_np function and the new pthread_clockjoin_np
function or only of the latter?




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