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Re: [Qemu-block] [Qemu-devel] [RFC PATCH] rbd: Don't convert keypairs to

From: Markus Armbruster
Subject: Re: [Qemu-block] [Qemu-devel] [RFC PATCH] rbd: Don't convert keypairs to JSON and back
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2018 08:38:04 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Max Reitz <address@hidden> writes:

> On 2018-08-16 08:40, Markus Armbruster wrote:
>> Max Reitz <address@hidden> writes:
>>> On 2018-08-15 10:12, Markus Armbruster wrote:
>>>> Max Reitz <address@hidden> writes:
>>> [...]
>>>>> To me personally the issue is that if you can specify a plain filename,
>>>>> bdrv_refresh_filename() should give you that plain filename back.  So
>>>>> rbd's implementation of that is lacking.  Well, it just doesn't exist.
>>>> I'm not even sure I understand what you're talking about.
>>> We have this bdrv_refresh_filename() thing which can do this:
>>> $ qemu-img info \
>>>     "json:{'driver':'raw',
>>>            'file':{'driver':'nbd','host':'localhost'}}"
>>> image: nbd://localhost:10809
>>> [...]
>>> So it can reconstruct a plain filename even if you specify it as options
>>> instead of just using a plain filename.
>>> Now here's my fault: I thought it might be necessary for a driver to
>>> implement that function (which rbd doesn't) so that you'd get a nice
>>> filename back (instead of just json:{} garbled things).   But you don't.
>>>  For protocol drivers, you'll just get the initial filename back.  (So
>>> my comment was just wrong.)
>>> So what I was thinking about was some case where you specified a normal
>>> plain filename and qemu would give you back json:{}.  (If rbd
>>> implemented bdrv_refresh_filename(), that wouldn't happen, because it
>>> would reconstruct a nice normal filename.)  It turns out, I don't think
>>> that can happen so easily.  You'll just get your filename back.
>>> Because here's what I'm thinking: If someone uses an option that is
>>> undocumented and starts with =, well, too bad.  If someone uses a normal
>>> filename, but gets back a json:{} filename...  Then they are free to use
>>> that anywhere, and their use of "=" is legitimized.
>>> Now that issue kind of reappears when you open an RBD volume, and then
>>> e.g. take a blockdev-snapshot.  Then your overlay has an overridden
>>> backing file (one that may be different from what its image header says)
>>> and its filename may well become a json:{} one (to arrange for the
>>> overridden backing file options).  Of course, if you opened the RBD
>>> volume with a filename with some of the options warranting
>>> =keyvalue-pairs, then your json:{} filename will contain those options
>>> under =keyvalue-pairs.
>>> So...  I'm not quite sure what I want to say?  I think there are edge
>>> cases where the user may not have put any weird option into qemu, but
>>> they do get a json:{} filename with =keyvalue-pairs out of it.  And I
>>> think users are free to use json:{} filenames qemu spews at them, and we
>>> can't blame them for it.
>> Makes sense.
>> More reason to deprecate key-value pairs in pseudo-filenames.
>> The only alternative would be to also provide them in QAPI
>> BlockdevOptionsRbd.  I find that as distasteful as ever, but if the
>> block maintainers decide we need it, I'll hold my nose.
>>>>>> If so, and we are comfortable changing the output the way this patch does
>>>>>> (technically altering ABI anyway), we might as well go all the way and
>>>>>> filter it out completely.  That would be preferable to cleaning up the 
>>>>>> json
>>>>>> output of the internal key/value pairs, IMO.
>>>>> Well, this filtering at least is done by my "Fix some filename
>>>>> generation issues" series.
>>>> Likewise.
>>> The series overhauls quite a bit of the bdrv_refresh_filename()
>>> infrastructure.  That function is also responsible for generating
>>> json:{} filenames.
>>> One thing it introduces is a BlockDriver field where a driver can
>>> specify which of the runtime options are actually important.  The rest
>>> is omitted from the generated json:{} filename.
>>> I may have taken the liberty not to include =keyvalue-pairs in RBD's
>>> "strong runtime options" list.
>> I see.
>> Permit me to digress a bit.
>> I understand one application for generating a json: filename is for
>> putting it into an image file header (say as a COW's backing image).
> Yes.
> (And it's not completely pointless, as there are options you may want to
> specify, but cannot do so in a plain filename.  Like host-key-check for
> https.)


> (And technically you need a string filename to point to when doing
> block-commit (Kevin sent patches to remedy this, though), so that could
> be called an application as well.)
>> Having image file headers point to other images is not as simple as it
>> may look at first glance.  The basic case of image format plus plain
>> filename (not containing '/') is straightforward enough.  But if I make
>> the filename absolute (with a leading '/'), the image becomes less easy
>> to move to another machine.
> That assumes that we correctly implement relative backing file names.
> Believe me, we don't.
> For example, say you did this:
> $ qemu-img create -f qcow2 foo/bot.qcow2 1M
> $ qemu-img create -f qcow2 -b bot.qcow2 foo/mid.qcow2
> $ qemu-img create -f qcow2 -b mid.qcow2 foo/top.qcow2
> Now try committing top to mid.
> You're right, it's impossible right now.
> (Not via -b mid.qcow2, nor via -b foo/mid.qcow2, nor via
> $PWD/foo/mid.qcow2.  Short of CD-ing to foo/ and then committing to
> mid.qcow2, it's just impossible.)
> ((I've send patches to fix this, but still, it's not like we even got
> the case right that's "straightforward enough". :-)))

Wait, I carefully defined "straightforward enough" as "filename not
containing '/'".  Did we manage to screw that up, too?

>> Similarly, certain Ceph configuration bits may make no sense on another
>> machine, and putting them into an image file header may not be a good
>> idea.
> On one hand, sure.  Adding json:{} filenames really wasn't one of my
> finest hours.  It looked like a simple enough idea at the time, but
> they're just not really useful and just keep on biting us.
> On another, well, but they may indeed make sense on another machine.
> It's like specifying an ssh URL (or absolute mount point on a local
> machine, like you describe above).  It may make sense to some (say, you
> have a global "content server" or something), so, well.
> I mean, our ideal model is that the user just configures the whole
> backing chain at runtime and nothing is our fault.  At least that's my
> ideal model.  It's always the management layer's fault. O:-)

Hi management layer, I got another buck for you!

I'm currently leaning towards regarding an image header's references to
other images as a convenience feature for users.  Saves restating the
"obvious" (appreciated), until the obvious becomes wrong, possibly
creating confusion (generally less appreciated).  I think having them is
a perfectly reasonable tradeoff overall at least for simple cases.
However, I suspect the more complex things get, the more the value of
"obvious" diminishes, and the more likely confusion becomes.  Mix of
observation and speculation, not a call for action.

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