New .nops directive, to aid Linux alternatives patching?

Maciej W. Rozycki
Mon Feb 12 13:46:00 GMT 2018

On Mon, 12 Feb 2018, H.J. Lu wrote:

> >> If you were to do that, why not simply remove the 255 maximum limit,
> >> rather than having a user pass two identical numbers?  That said, I
> >> think the current implementation with 255 is probably fine; My example
> >> of ~45 is pushing it, but I expect that any example trying to use 64 or
> >> more almost certainly has a better way to do the same thing.
> >
> >  What's the point of this arbitrary limit though?  Does it have any
> > benefit to the user?
> >
> >  Otherwise may I remind what the GNU Coding Standards say [1]:
> >
> > 'Avoid arbitrary limits on the length or number of any data structure,
> > including file names, lines, files, and symbols, by allocating all data
> Support arbitrary .nop directive size requires very intrusive changes
> and provides very little benefits.

 Why?  Effectively it's just like a `.byte' pseudo-op with a long argument 
list, except that the values produced are implicit.  What's so intrusive 
about emitting a longish stream of bytes?


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