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Re: [Qemu-devel] chardev's and fd's in monitors

From: Markus Armbruster
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] chardev's and fd's in monitors
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:57:35 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

"Daniel P. Berrange" <address@hidden> writes:

> On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 12:42:01PM +0200, Markus Armbruster wrote:
>> "Dr. David Alan Gilbert" <address@hidden> writes:
>> > * Daniel P. Berrange (address@hidden) wrote:
>> >> On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 10:55:52AM +0200, Markus Armbruster wrote:
>> >> 
>> >> Our code has increasingly converted to propagate errors up the call
>> >> chain, but having a mix of different error reporting approaches
>> >> is increasingly causing pain.
>> >> 
>> >> eg a function which propagates errors wants to call into a function
>> >> whicih uses error_report
>> When you add an Error * parameter to a function, you get to convert
>> everything it calls.  Failure to do so is a bug, simple as that.
>> Likewise, when you add a new call to a function that takes an Error *
>> parameter.
> I agree its a bug - just that from a pragmatic POV it isn't always
> practical to convert the entire call chain in one big bang - particularly
> if you are working on shared infrastructure.

Been there, felt the pain.  I just wish we'd be more diligent adding
FIXME comments when we take shortcuts.

>                                              For example, the
> qemu-sockets.c APIs for connecting & listening on unix/tcp sockets
> use Error * to report errors. Those APIs were used in the block
> layer, migration, vnc, chardev and network backend code. It clearly
> isn't practical to convert all those regions to code to correctly
> propagate Error ** in one go. That's certainly the desired end
> goal IMHO, but getting there is going to take a while.
> This slow conversion has been going on for a long time now, so
> maybe we need to make an aggressive push in strategic areas of
> the code to stop it dragging out indefinitely. This is kind of
> a general problem we have in QEMU - we have introduced lots of
> new standard frameworks, but very rarely finish converting
> code to use them.


>                    This is why I did a big push to try to get
> everything switched over to use QIOChannel, in the shortest
> possible time, rather than doing only small bits over many
> releases.

Much better when you can pull it off.

A common road block is having to update code nobody wants to touch, let
alone maintain, with no way to test.  The easy way out is to update just
the code you actually care about, then call the conversion process
"incremental".  Well, it's not incremental without commitments to

>> >>                          - there's no nice way to propagate the error
>> >> since it has already been reported.  If the function then wants to
>> >> explicitly ignore the error, then that's impossible too,since it has
>> >> already been reported.  Add in our code which doesn't use error_report
>> >> and instead returns errno values, such as the block layer, and it gets
>> >> even worse because if that calls a function which propagates an error,
>> >> it has to throw away that useful error and return a useless invented
>> >> errno value :(
>> Different bug: when you receive an Error, you have to either handle and
>> consume it, or pass it on.  Throwing it away and returning an error code
>> instead counts as neither, and is a bug.
> Totally agree its a bug - just again hits the reality of having to
> do major code conversions.
>> >> IMHO continuing to convert code to propagate errors is the only way
>> >> out of this swamp, because it provides the greatest flexibility to
>> >> the callers of said functions to decide how to deal with the error.
>> I wouldn't call the whole situation a swamp.  error_report() is just
>> fine in many places.  So is returning -errno.  We convert to Error when
>> these techniques cease to be fine.  The swampy part is old code where
>> these techniques have never been fine, or at least not for a while.  To
>> be drained incrementally.
> Realistically all the major backend subsystems (chardev, network, block,
> ui and migration) need to be converted to Error ** propagation, since
> they all ultimately call into some common code that reports Error **.

Infrastucture generally doesn't know how it's used, which means
error_report() is generally wrong there.  Sufficiently simple functions
can keep returning -errno, null, whatever, but the interesting stuff
needs to use Error.

> Very few places will end up being able to stick with -errno, or plain
> error_report in the long term.

Not sure about "very few".  Less than now.  We'll see.

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