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From: <>
To: "'brian m. carlson'" <>
Cc: "'Calvin Wan'" <>,
	"'Git Mailing List'" <>
Subject: RE: [RFD] Libification proposal: separate internal and external interfaces
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2024 07:07:13 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <043c01da89a4$ec6efef0$c54cfcd0$> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Sunday, April 7, 2024 9:10 PM, brian m. carlson wrote:
>On 2024-04-07 at 21:48:07, wrote:
>> On Sunday, April 7, 2024 5:34 PM, brian m. carlson wrote:
>> >We'll also need to consider that libgit2 is currently using `git_`
>> >and thus we'll either need to use something different or avoid conflicts.
>> >Perhaps `gitlib_` might be useful.
>> Or `GITL_`
>It's more common to use lowercase, so I think we should do that.
>> >I should point out that _FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 is effectively standard these days.
>> >Nobody wants their files limited to 2 GiB.
>> This is not the default on some platforms. It is still required but can be put into a
>True, but everyone compiles with it.  If you're a software vendor and your build only
>supports 2 GiB files, everyone's going to be mad.  We should be able to assume that
>vendors are prudent and reasonable people who will compile their binaries
>accordingly and not have to return an error if a requested file size is larger than 32

I am not disagreeing that it "should be" standard. But it is not a compiler default, so still needs to be supplied when git is built. Removing the define will drop the limit to 2Gb on some platforms. I'm not sure where this is going.

>> >Sure.  If we need a file size type, it should be something like
>> >`int64_t` or `uint64_t` and not `off_t`. Not all platforms have explicit 64-bit APIs
>compiles. NonStop and S/390 do require explicit controls to make this work.
>> This will result in compile warnings with some platforms with APIs
>> that do use off_t for arguments and results.

Where _FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64, off_t should be 64 bits. If we are saying that git is going to force 64-bit types for offsets, then the types should be explicitly different, like git_off_t rather than hard-binding them to int64_t. That would allow git_compat_util.h or others to force the type broadly instead of making assumptions about the size.
>There will need to be a cast.  Our APIs should use a standard 64-bit type and not
>expose the platform `off_t`.
>> >
>> >> - Limited Platform Compatibility. The external interfaces are able to
>> >>   assume that <stdint.h> and other C99 (or maybe even C11+)
>> >>   functionality exists and use it immediately, without weather balloons
>> >>   or #ifdefs. If some platform requires special handling, that platform
>> >>   isn't supported, at least initially.
>> >
>> >I think this is fine.  It's 2024.  We should assume that C11 (a
>> >13-year-old spec) is available and so is POSIX 1003.1-2008 (except
>> >for Windows).  We may want to have a nice `#ifdef __STDC__ < 200112L`
>> >(and a similar check for POSIX) to just produce an `#error` if the system is too old.
>> I wish this were the case. I have 2 years before C11 is guaranteed to
>> be available on platforms that I maintain. Can we wait until mid-late
>> 2025 before doing this? I do not want to lose access to git.
>As mentioned in the original proposal, we don't have to support all platforms in the
>libified code.  The main Git binaries will continue to function and be supported, but
>the new libified code will rely on newer features.  You will still be able to have all the
>Git binaries and functionality, but if you want the new shared library to compile
>against, you'll have to furnish a newer compiler.

I am not sure this original assumption still holds, if git is now going to depend on the libified code, which seems to be the direction after recent discussion.

>As a side note, I don't think requiring porters to support a 13-year-old spec is
>unreasonable for new, independent parts of the codebase.  As a side note, if your
>platform supported GCC or LLVM, then this would be an easy goal to achieve.  I
>know it doesn't right now, but it might be an incentive to get it there.
>> This is not a particularly good assumption. Some architectures do not
>> support kernel-level threading. PUT threading is possible on some
>> platforms but attempts to port git to PUT require that all
>> dependencies also support PUT, which is not a good assumption. Most of
>> the dependencies that I have to work with actually do not support PUT
>> or any other form of threading.
>I don't believe this is true.  Every architecture which supports Linux or any other
>modern Unix has threading support.  You're compiling on
>ia64 and x86, which definitely do support threading and have had it on Linux and
>NetBSD for years (before they removed ia64 support).

Just be cause the chipset supports threading, which it does, does not mean that every platform has kernel-level threading available to applications. For SMP, sure, you can make that assumption, but for MPP architectures (few as they are), PUT has been the standard - it is available on NonStop and works correctly, but porting git to PUT on NonStop has been tried at least twice since I have been involved, with bad results each time - the failures may have been in the test suite, but if one does not have a test suite that supports what is being tested, one should not release it. Where I have an issue with requiring PUT as a minimum, is that dependencies for git, and the list is not small, do not generally support PUT, even if git does; rather make a similar assumption that hardware threading is sufficient - It is not and there is ample evidence of that. Cooperative threading (PUT) is much more complex to code than a kernel thread implementation, and our attempts at porting git to PUT on NonStop failed because of problems in dependencies and the git test suites. This is a much longer discussion, but I do not have confidence that everything git requires is properly reentrant and can handle PUT. They all "should", but that does not appear to be the case.

With that said, I can try spinning up an effort again to try the PUT build and dive deeper into this, but I do not relish having to debug someone else's thread code, at least not without some explicit explanation or help of the thread design. My $team will avoid trying to debug threaded code that does not work in favour of a rewrite, unless the problems are glaringly obvious. My $DAYJOB is already unhappy with the time I have spent debugging other project's thread problems - ones that would impact git PUT builds.

I am not saying it is impossible to do, but it is a very big ask, to justify not only git but all git dependencies to implement PUT threading correctly. If kernel threads are ever externalized on NonStop, the topic becomes much easier to handle. Again, ia64 goes to the curl because PUT is all we will ever get on ia64. Whenever this requirement is put in place, it locks git on NonStop to that version. The upshot is that I do not think libification has taken into account threading issues, so this may be moot.

>Threading is a reasonable thing to have on a modern operating system, and if we're
>adding new, independent functionality, that should be able to safely work with
>threading.  You can continue to use the binaries without threading, just not the new
>shared libraries.
>I'll add on that I'm not opposed to continuing to support NonStop in principle, but I
>_am_ opposed to having to continue to support really ancient versions of common
>standards[0].  POSIX 1003.1-2008 is about 16 years old; it could drive a car in much
>of North America.  I think it's the responsibility of porters to provide this
>functionality, and in general most open source OSes do this with little or no paid
>staff, so it should be reasonable to expect corporate-backed operating systems to
>do so.

I agree with that, but I have very little influence on what the NonStop team does internally. I am not on team.

>I would strongly recommend that NonStop start supporting modern compiler and
>POSIX standards, as well at least one of GCC or LLVM, and that you push very hard
>to make that happen.  It's not just Git that's pushing forward here; there's a lot of
>open source software that simply will not compile with the functionality you
>support, including the increasing amount of software written in Go or Rust, and it's
>unreasonable to expect people not to want to use standard functionality that's over
>a decade old.  If NonStop doesn't move in that direction, I anticipate we will
>eventually drop support for it sooner or later.

This is a great recommendation that will not happen any time soon. It is something the community has requested repeatedly but there are inside reasons for not doing this. My team spent years trying to port GCC without success (I cannot go into why, but it is non-trivial and will not happen). At least on the more modern NonStop x86, we do have C11, just not on ia64. With the latter going off support relatively soon, we could move to C11 safely in about 2 years. With that notice, it would give us time to adapt, but would absolutely kick git to the curb on ia64.

This does bring up the question of how much notice is needed (or at worst considered "considerate") to allow platforms to cope with fundamental architectural dependency changes in git.

>[0] This is not just NonStop; Microsoft's long-time refusal to implement
>C99 or a newer version of C really ground my gears and I basically gave up on
>supporting it for all personal projects as a result.  Fortunately, they've now come up
>to a modern standard.
>brian m. carlson (they/them or he/him)
>Toronto, Ontario, CA

I have to say that I this thread is making me very nervous about the future of a supportable git on anything but Linux.

  reply	other threads:[~2024-04-08 11:07 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 18+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2024-04-02 14:18 [RFD] Libification proposal: separate internal and external interfaces Calvin Wan
2024-04-07 21:33 ` brian m. carlson
2024-04-07 21:48   ` rsbecker
2024-04-08  1:09     ` brian m. carlson
2024-04-08 11:07       ` rsbecker [this message]
2024-04-08 21:29       ` Junio C Hamano
2024-04-09  0:35         ` brian m. carlson
2024-04-09 17:26           ` Calvin Wan
2024-04-09  9:40         ` Phillip Wood
2024-04-09 17:30           ` Calvin Wan
2024-04-22 16:26 ` Calvin Wan
2024-04-22 20:28   ` Junio C Hamano
2024-04-23  9:57   ` phillip.wood123
2024-05-09  1:00   ` Kyle Lippincott
2024-05-10  9:52     ` Phillip Wood
2024-05-10 21:35       ` Kyle Lippincott
2024-05-09 19:45   ` Kyle Lippincott
2024-05-09 20:14     ` Junio C Hamano

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