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From: Peter Staubach <>
To: Miklos Szeredi <>
Subject: Re: [patch 01/22] update ctime and mtime for mmaped write
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 15:01:18 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Miklos Szeredi wrote:
>> While these entry points do not actually modify the file itself,
>> as was pointed out, they are handy points at which the kernel gains
>> control and could actually notice that the contents of the file are
>> no longer the same as they were, ie. modified.
>>  From the operating system viewpoint, this is where the semantics of
>> modification to file contents via mmap differs from the semantics of
>> modification to file contents via write(2).
>> It is desirable for the file times to be updated as quickly as
>> possible after the actual modification has occurred.
> I disagree.
> You don't worry about the timestamp being updated _during_ a large
> write() call, even though the file is constantly being modified.

No, but you do worry about the timestamps being updated after
every write() call, no matter how large or small.

> You think of write() as something instantaneous, while you think of
> writing to a shared mapping, then doing msync() as something taking a
> long time.  In actual fact both of these are basically equivalent
> operations, the differences being, that you can easily modify
> non-contiguous parts of a file with mmap, while you can't do that with
> write.  The disadvantage from mmap comes from the cost of setting up
> the page tables and handling the faults.
> Think of it this way:
>   shared mmap write + msync(MS_ASYNC)  ==  write()
>   msync(MS_ASYNC) + fsync()  ==  msync(MS_SYNC)

I don't believe that this is a valid characterization because the
changes to the contents of the file, made through the mmap'd region,
are immediately visible to any and all other applications accessing
the file.  Since the contents of the file are changing, then so
should the timestamps to reflect this.

>> A better design for all of this would be to update the file times
>> and mark the inode as needing to be written out when a page fault
>> is taken for a page which either does not exist or needs to be made
>> writable and that page is part of an appropriate style mapping.
> I think this would just be a waste of CPU.

I think that we are going to have to agree to disagree because
I don't agree either with your characterizations of the desirable
semantics associated with shared mmap or that maintaining the
correctness in the system is a waste of CPU.

I view mmap as a way for an application to treat the contents of
a file as another segment in its address space.  This allows it to
manipulate the contents of a file without incurring the overhead
of the read and write system calls and the double buffering that
naturally occurs with those system calls.  I think that:

    char *p = mmap(NULL, 8192, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_SHARED, fd, 0);
    *p = 1;
    *(p + 4096) = 2;

should have the same effect as:

    char c = 1;
    pwrite(fd, &c, 1, 0);
    c = 2;
    pwrite(fd, &c, 1, 4096);

Clearly, the two can't be equivalent since the operating system
can only become involved at certain times in order to update the
timestamps.  That's why there are specifications about the
timestamps for things like msync.  They should be as close as
possible though.

However, since I seem to be the only one presenting a different
viewpoint, then I will agree to disagree and commit.  I will see
if I can sell your semantics to my customer and find out if that
will satisfy them.



  reply	other threads:[~2007-02-28 20:01 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 32+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2007-02-27 23:14 [patch 00/22] misc VFS/VM patches and fuse writable shared mapping support Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 01/22] update ctime and mtime for mmaped write Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-28 14:16   ` Peter Staubach
2007-02-28 17:06     ` Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-28 17:21       ` Peter Staubach
2007-02-28 17:51         ` Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-28 20:01           ` Peter Staubach [this message]
2007-02-28 20:35             ` Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-28 20:58               ` Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-28 21:09                 ` Peter Staubach
2007-03-01  7:25                   ` Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 02/22] fix quadratic behavior of shrink_dcache_parent() Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 03/22] fix deadlock in balance_dirty_pages Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 04/22] fix deadlock in throttle_vm_writeout Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 05/22] balance dirty pages from loop device Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 06/22] consolidate generic_writepages and mpage_writepages Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 07/22] add filesystem subtype support Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 08/22] fuse: update backing_dev_info congestion state Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 09/22] fuse: fix reserved request wake up Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 10/22] fuse: add reference counting to fuse_file Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 11/22] fuse: add truncation semaphore Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 12/22] fuse: fix page invalidation Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 13/22] fuse: add list of writable files to fuse_inode Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 14/22] fuse: add helper for asynchronous writes Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 15/22] add non-owner variant of down_read_trylock() Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 16/22] fuse: add fuse_writepage() function Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:14 ` [patch 17/22] fuse: writable shared mmap support Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:15 ` [patch 18/22] fuse: add fuse_writepages() function Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:15 ` [patch 19/22] export sync_sb() to modules Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:15 ` [patch 20/22] fuse: make dirty stats available Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:15 ` [patch 21/22] fuse: limit dirty pages Miklos Szeredi
2007-02-27 23:15 ` [patch 22/22] fuse: allow big write requests Miklos Szeredi

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