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From: Neil Horman <nhorman@tuxdriver.com>
To: Thomas Monjalon <thomas.monjalon@6wind.com>
Cc: dev@dpdk.org
Subject: Re: [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 0/4] Add DSO symbol versioning to support backwards compatibility
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:14:01 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <20140918191401.GP20389@hmsreliant.think-freely.org> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <2657938.GdCLzJqtVh@xps13>

On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 08:23:36PM +0200, Thomas Monjalon wrote:
> Hi Neil,
> 2014-09-15 15:23, Neil Horman:
> > The DPDK ABI develops and changes quickly, which makes it difficult for
> > applications to keep up with the latest version of the library, especially when
> > it (the DPDK) is built as a set of shared objects, as applications may be built
> > against an older version of the library.
> > 
> > To mitigate this, this patch series introduces support for library and symbol
> > versioning when the DPDK is built as a DSO.  Specifically, it does 4 things:
> > 
> > 1) Adds initial support for library versioning.  Each library now has a version
> > map that explicitly calls out what symbols are exported to using applications,
> > and assigns version(s) to them
> > 
> > 2) Adds support macros so that when libraries create incompatible ABI's,
> > multiple versions may be supported so that applications linked against older
> > DPDK releases can continue to function
> > 
> > 3) Adds library soname versioning suffixes so that when ABI's must be broken in
> > a fashion that requires a rebuild of older applications, they will break at load
> > time, rather than cause unexpected issues at run time.
> > 
> > 4) Adds documentation for ABI policy, and provides space to document deprecated
> > ABI versions, so that applications might be warned of impending changes.
> > 
> > With these elements in place the DPDK has some support to allow for the extended
> > maintenence of older API's while still allowing the freedom to develop new and
> > improved API's.
> > 
> > Implementing this feature will require some additional effort on the part of
> > developers and reviewers.  When reviewing patches, must be checked against
> > existing exports to ensure that the function prototypes are not changing.  If
> > they are, the versioning macros must be used, and the library export map should
> > be updated to reflect the new version of the function.
> > 
> > When data structures change, if those structures are application accessible,
> > apis that accept or return instances of those data structures should have new
> > versions created so that users of the old data structure version might co-exist
> > at the same time.
> Thanks for your efforts.
> But I feel this change has too many constraints for the current status of
> the DPDK. It's probably too early to adopt such policy.
I think you may be misunderstanding something.  What constraints do you beleive
that this patch imposes?  Note it doesn't in any way prevent changes to the ABI
of the DPDK, but rather gives us infrastructure to support multiple ABI
revisions at the same time, so that applications built against DPDK shared
libraries can continue to function properly at least for some time until we
decide to deprecate that ABI level.

This is all based on the versioning strategy outlined here:

That may help clarify things for you.

> By the way, this versioning doesn't cover structure changes.
No, it doesn't.  No link-time mechanism does so.

> How could it be managed?
Thats a subject that is open to discussion, but my initial thinking is that we
need to handle it on a case by case basis:

* For minor updates, where allocation of a structure is done on the heap and new
fields need to be added, appending them to the end of a structure and providing
an initial value is sufficient.

* For major changes, where fields need to be removed, or re-arranged, mostly
likely the API surfaces which accept or return those structures as
inputs/outputs will need to have new versions written to accept the new version
of the structure, and internally we will have to support both formats for a time
(according to the policy I documented, that is currently a single major
release).  I.e. if you want to change struct foo, which is accepted as a
parameter for the function bar(struct foo *ptr), then for a release we would
need to create struct foo_v2 with the new format, map a new function foo_v2 to
the exported foo@@DPDK_1.(X+1), and internally make the foo functions understand
both the origional and v2 versions of the structure.  Then in DPDK release
1.X+2, we can remove the old version after posting a deprecation notice with
version 1.(X+1)

> Don't you think it would be more reliable if managed by packaging?
Solving this with packaging defeats the purpose of having shared libraries at
all.  While packaging each version of the dpdk separately is possible stopgap
solution, in that it allows applications to link to differing versions of the
library independently, but that negates any expectation of timely bugfixes for
any given version of the DPDK.  That is to say, if you package things this way,
and wind up with several parallel versions of the same package, and for any
bugfix that comes out upstream, the packager then has the responsibility to
adapt that fix to each package.  Thats an unscalable solution, and not something
any packager is going to undertake willingly.  I did a hybrid version of this in
fedora for exactly that reason.  I packaged the dpdk into its own directory, but
have every intention of changing that directory every major release, so that
application writers can clearly see when they need to stop updating the dpdk,
lest their applications stop linking. I'm not going to have multiple dpdk
packages to maintain in parallel, thats just too much work.

> Thank you for opening this discussion with a constructive proposal. 
> Let's check it later on once structures will be more stable since 
> performance is the most critical target.
If I'm being honest, I have to say thats a cop out answer.  We all know that
structure stability isn't a priority for the DPDK, nor will it ever be in all
likelyhood.  It will continue to evolve and grow as the hardware does.  And this
patch set doesn't prevent that from happening.  All it does is provide some
level of stability in the API for a period of time to let 3rd party application
writers write and package applications with some allowance of time to keep up
with upstream changes on their own schedule.

I grant you that writing a good API for a shared library is difficult, but
(and feel free to disagree with this), if we don't start enforcing policies that
require good API design, its not going to happen on its own.  This patch set
will highlight those API points which are difficult to maintain accross major
releases, and force us to address and improve them.  To that end I've already
begun talking to some of the individual library maintainers off list to address
some of the API aspects that I have concerns about (exporting variable rather
than accessor functions, structures that don't need to be visible to users,
etc), and they've started reviewing them.  We can make this better, but we can't
just say later, because theres no roadmap that lists structure stability as a
line item.  As hardware improves, structures will change to operate more
efficiently or support more features.  Without a hard plan, the initial goals of
the DPDK (high performance networking) will relegate ABI to such a low priority
that it will never be addressed. 

To that end, can we discuss specifics?  Can you ennumerate direct points that
you feel make this patch unworkable at this time?  I know you mentioned some
above, and I think I addressed them (though please ask follow up questions if
I've been unclear).  What other concerns do you have?


  reply	other threads:[~2014-09-18 19:08 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 42+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2014-09-15 19:23 Neil Horman
2014-09-15 19:23 ` [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 1/4] compat: Add infrastructure to support symbol versioning Neil Horman
2014-09-23 10:39   ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-09-23 14:58     ` Neil Horman
2014-09-23 16:29       ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-09-23 17:31         ` Neil Horman
2014-09-25 18:52   ` [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 1/4 v2] " Neil Horman
2014-09-26 14:16     ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-09-26 15:16       ` Neil Horman
2014-09-26 15:33         ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-09-26 16:22           ` Neil Horman
2014-09-26 19:19             ` Neil Horman
2014-09-29 15:44   ` [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 1/4 v3] " Neil Horman
2014-09-30  8:13     ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-09-30 15:18   ` [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 1/4 v4] " Neil Horman
2014-10-01 10:15     ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-10-01 10:38       ` Neil Horman
2014-10-01 11:28     ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-09-15 19:23 ` [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 2/4] Provide initial versioning for all DPDK libraries Neil Horman
2014-09-19  9:45   ` Bruce Richardson
2014-09-19 10:22     ` Neil Horman
2014-10-01 11:25   ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-10-01 14:43     ` Neil Horman
2014-09-15 19:23 ` [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 3/4] Add library version extenstion Neil Horman
2014-10-01 11:27   ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-09-15 19:23 ` [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 4/4] docs: Add ABI documentation Neil Horman
2014-10-01 16:06   ` Sergio Gonzalez Monroy
2014-09-18 18:23 ` [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 0/4] Add DSO symbol versioning to support backwards compatibility Thomas Monjalon
2014-09-18 19:14   ` Neil Horman [this message]
2014-09-19  8:57     ` Richardson, Bruce
2014-09-19 14:18     ` Venkatesan, Venky
2014-09-19 17:45       ` Neil Horman
2014-09-24 18:19     ` Neil Horman
2014-09-26 10:41       ` Thomas Monjalon
2014-09-26 14:45         ` Neil Horman
2014-09-26 22:02           ` Stephen Hemminger
2014-09-27  2:22             ` Neil Horman
2014-10-01 18:59           ` Neil Horman
2014-10-07 21:01             ` Neil Horman
2014-10-08 15:57               ` Thomas Monjalon
2014-10-08 18:46                 ` Butler, Siobhan A
2014-10-08 19:09                 ` Neil Horman

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