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Based on kernel version 3.16. Page generated on 2014-08-06 21:36 EST.

2			Linux kernel coding style
4	This is a short document describing the preferred coding style for the
5	linux kernel.  Coding style is very personal, and I won't _force_ my
6	views on anybody, but this is what goes for anything that I have to be
7	able to maintain, and I'd prefer it for most other things too.  Please
8	at least consider the points made here.
10	First off, I'd suggest printing out a copy of the GNU coding standards,
11	and NOT read it.  Burn them, it's a great symbolic gesture.
13	Anyway, here goes:
16		 	Chapter 1: Indentation
18	Tabs are 8 characters, and thus indentations are also 8 characters.
19	There are heretic movements that try to make indentations 4 (or even 2!)
20	characters deep, and that is akin to trying to define the value of PI to
21	be 3.
23	Rationale: The whole idea behind indentation is to clearly define where
24	a block of control starts and ends.  Especially when you've been looking
25	at your screen for 20 straight hours, you'll find it a lot easier to see
26	how the indentation works if you have large indentations.
28	Now, some people will claim that having 8-character indentations makes
29	the code move too far to the right, and makes it hard to read on a
30	80-character terminal screen.  The answer to that is that if you need
31	more than 3 levels of indentation, you're screwed anyway, and should fix
32	your program.
34	In short, 8-char indents make things easier to read, and have the added
35	benefit of warning you when you're nesting your functions too deep.
36	Heed that warning.
38	The preferred way to ease multiple indentation levels in a switch statement is
39	to align the "switch" and its subordinate "case" labels in the same column
40	instead of "double-indenting" the "case" labels.  E.g.:
42		switch (suffix) {
43		case 'G':
44		case 'g':
45			mem <<= 30;
46			break;
47		case 'M':
48		case 'm':
49			mem <<= 20;
50			break;
51		case 'K':
52		case 'k':
53			mem <<= 10;
54			/* fall through */
55		default:
56			break;
57		}
60	Don't put multiple statements on a single line unless you have
61	something to hide:
63		if (condition) do_this;
64		  do_something_everytime;
66	Don't put multiple assignments on a single line either.  Kernel coding style
67	is super simple.  Avoid tricky expressions.
69	Outside of comments, documentation and except in Kconfig, spaces are never
70	used for indentation, and the above example is deliberately broken.
72	Get a decent editor and don't leave whitespace at the end of lines.
75			Chapter 2: Breaking long lines and strings
77	Coding style is all about readability and maintainability using commonly
78	available tools.
80	The limit on the length of lines is 80 columns and this is a strongly
81	preferred limit.
83	Statements longer than 80 columns will be broken into sensible chunks, unless
84	exceeding 80 columns significantly increases readability and does not hide
85	information. Descendants are always substantially shorter than the parent and
86	are placed substantially to the right. The same applies to function headers
87	with a long argument list. However, never break user-visible strings such as
88	printk messages, because that breaks the ability to grep for them.
91			Chapter 3: Placing Braces and Spaces
93	The other issue that always comes up in C styling is the placement of
94	braces.  Unlike the indent size, there are few technical reasons to
95	choose one placement strategy over the other, but the preferred way, as
96	shown to us by the prophets Kernighan and Ritchie, is to put the opening
97	brace last on the line, and put the closing brace first, thusly:
99		if (x is true) {
100			we do y
101		}
103	This applies to all non-function statement blocks (if, switch, for,
104	while, do).  E.g.:
106		switch (action) {
107		case KOBJ_ADD:
108			return "add";
109		case KOBJ_REMOVE:
110			return "remove";
111		case KOBJ_CHANGE:
112			return "change";
113		default:
114			return NULL;
115		}
117	However, there is one special case, namely functions: they have the
118	opening brace at the beginning of the next line, thus:
120		int function(int x)
121		{
122			body of function
123		}
125	Heretic people all over the world have claimed that this inconsistency
126	is ...  well ...  inconsistent, but all right-thinking people know that
127	(a) K&R are _right_ and (b) K&R are right.  Besides, functions are
128	special anyway (you can't nest them in C).
130	Note that the closing brace is empty on a line of its own, _except_ in
131	the cases where it is followed by a continuation of the same statement,
132	ie a "while" in a do-statement or an "else" in an if-statement, like
133	this:
135		do {
136			body of do-loop
137		} while (condition);
139	and
141		if (x == y) {
142			..
143		} else if (x > y) {
144			...
145		} else {
146			....
147		}
149	Rationale: K&R.
151	Also, note that this brace-placement also minimizes the number of empty
152	(or almost empty) lines, without any loss of readability.  Thus, as the
153	supply of new-lines on your screen is not a renewable resource (think
154	25-line terminal screens here), you have more empty lines to put
155	comments on.
157	Do not unnecessarily use braces where a single statement will do.
159	if (condition)
160		action();
162	and
164	if (condition)
165		do_this();
166	else
167		do_that();
169	This does not apply if only one branch of a conditional statement is a single
170	statement; in the latter case use braces in both branches:
172	if (condition) {
173		do_this();
174		do_that();
175	} else {
176		otherwise();
177	}
179			3.1:  Spaces
181	Linux kernel style for use of spaces depends (mostly) on
182	function-versus-keyword usage.  Use a space after (most) keywords.  The
183	notable exceptions are sizeof, typeof, alignof, and __attribute__, which look
184	somewhat like functions (and are usually used with parentheses in Linux,
185	although they are not required in the language, as in: "sizeof info" after
186	"struct fileinfo info;" is declared).
188	So use a space after these keywords:
189		if, switch, case, for, do, while
190	but not with sizeof, typeof, alignof, or __attribute__.  E.g.,
191		s = sizeof(struct file);
193	Do not add spaces around (inside) parenthesized expressions.  This example is
194	*bad*:
196		s = sizeof( struct file );
198	When declaring pointer data or a function that returns a pointer type, the
199	preferred use of '*' is adjacent to the data name or function name and not
200	adjacent to the type name.  Examples:
202		char *linux_banner;
203		unsigned long long memparse(char *ptr, char **retptr);
204		char *match_strdup(substring_t *s);
206	Use one space around (on each side of) most binary and ternary operators,
207	such as any of these:
209		=  +  -  <  >  *  /  %  |  &  ^  <=  >=  ==  !=  ?  :
211	but no space after unary operators:
212		&  *  +  -  ~  !  sizeof  typeof  alignof  __attribute__  defined
214	no space before the postfix increment & decrement unary operators:
215		++  --
217	no space after the prefix increment & decrement unary operators:
218		++  --
220	and no space around the '.' and "->" structure member operators.
222	Do not leave trailing whitespace at the ends of lines.  Some editors with
223	"smart" indentation will insert whitespace at the beginning of new lines as
224	appropriate, so you can start typing the next line of code right away.
225	However, some such editors do not remove the whitespace if you end up not
226	putting a line of code there, such as if you leave a blank line.  As a result,
227	you end up with lines containing trailing whitespace.
229	Git will warn you about patches that introduce trailing whitespace, and can
230	optionally strip the trailing whitespace for you; however, if applying a series
231	of patches, this may make later patches in the series fail by changing their
232	context lines.
235			Chapter 4: Naming
237	C is a Spartan language, and so should your naming be.  Unlike Modula-2
238	and Pascal programmers, C programmers do not use cute names like
239	ThisVariableIsATemporaryCounter.  A C programmer would call that
240	variable "tmp", which is much easier to write, and not the least more
241	difficult to understand.
243	HOWEVER, while mixed-case names are frowned upon, descriptive names for
244	global variables are a must.  To call a global function "foo" is a
245	shooting offense.
247	GLOBAL variables (to be used only if you _really_ need them) need to
248	have descriptive names, as do global functions.  If you have a function
249	that counts the number of active users, you should call that
250	"count_active_users()" or similar, you should _not_ call it "cntusr()".
252	Encoding the type of a function into the name (so-called Hungarian
253	notation) is brain damaged - the compiler knows the types anyway and can
254	check those, and it only confuses the programmer.  No wonder MicroSoft
255	makes buggy programs.
257	LOCAL variable names should be short, and to the point.  If you have
258	some random integer loop counter, it should probably be called "i".
259	Calling it "loop_counter" is non-productive, if there is no chance of it
260	being mis-understood.  Similarly, "tmp" can be just about any type of
261	variable that is used to hold a temporary value.
263	If you are afraid to mix up your local variable names, you have another
264	problem, which is called the function-growth-hormone-imbalance syndrome.
265	See chapter 6 (Functions).
268			Chapter 5: Typedefs
270	Please don't use things like "vps_t".
272	It's a _mistake_ to use typedef for structures and pointers. When you see a
274		vps_t a;
276	in the source, what does it mean?
278	In contrast, if it says
280		struct virtual_container *a;
282	you can actually tell what "a" is.
284	Lots of people think that typedefs "help readability". Not so. They are
285	useful only for:
287	 (a) totally opaque objects (where the typedef is actively used to _hide_
288	     what the object is).
290	     Example: "pte_t" etc. opaque objects that you can only access using
291	     the proper accessor functions.
293	     NOTE! Opaqueness and "accessor functions" are not good in themselves.
294	     The reason we have them for things like pte_t etc. is that there
295	     really is absolutely _zero_ portably accessible information there.
297	 (b) Clear integer types, where the abstraction _helps_ avoid confusion
298	     whether it is "int" or "long".
300	     u8/u16/u32 are perfectly fine typedefs, although they fit into
301	     category (d) better than here.
303	     NOTE! Again - there needs to be a _reason_ for this. If something is
304	     "unsigned long", then there's no reason to do
306		typedef unsigned long myflags_t;
308	     but if there is a clear reason for why it under certain circumstances
309	     might be an "unsigned int" and under other configurations might be
310	     "unsigned long", then by all means go ahead and use a typedef.
312	 (c) when you use sparse to literally create a _new_ type for
313	     type-checking.
315	 (d) New types which are identical to standard C99 types, in certain
316	     exceptional circumstances.
318	     Although it would only take a short amount of time for the eyes and
319	     brain to become accustomed to the standard types like 'uint32_t',
320	     some people object to their use anyway.
322	     Therefore, the Linux-specific 'u8/u16/u32/u64' types and their
323	     signed equivalents which are identical to standard types are
324	     permitted -- although they are not mandatory in new code of your
325	     own.
327	     When editing existing code which already uses one or the other set
328	     of types, you should conform to the existing choices in that code.
330	 (e) Types safe for use in userspace.
332	     In certain structures which are visible to userspace, we cannot
333	     require C99 types and cannot use the 'u32' form above. Thus, we
334	     use __u32 and similar types in all structures which are shared
335	     with userspace.
337	Maybe there are other cases too, but the rule should basically be to NEVER
338	EVER use a typedef unless you can clearly match one of those rules.
340	In general, a pointer, or a struct that has elements that can reasonably
341	be directly accessed should _never_ be a typedef.
344			Chapter 6: Functions
346	Functions should be short and sweet, and do just one thing.  They should
347	fit on one or two screenfuls of text (the ISO/ANSI screen size is 80x24,
348	as we all know), and do one thing and do that well.
350	The maximum length of a function is inversely proportional to the
351	complexity and indentation level of that function.  So, if you have a
352	conceptually simple function that is just one long (but simple)
353	case-statement, where you have to do lots of small things for a lot of
354	different cases, it's OK to have a longer function.
356	However, if you have a complex function, and you suspect that a
357	less-than-gifted first-year high-school student might not even
358	understand what the function is all about, you should adhere to the
359	maximum limits all the more closely.  Use helper functions with
360	descriptive names (you can ask the compiler to in-line them if you think
361	it's performance-critical, and it will probably do a better job of it
362	than you would have done).
364	Another measure of the function is the number of local variables.  They
365	shouldn't exceed 5-10, or you're doing something wrong.  Re-think the
366	function, and split it into smaller pieces.  A human brain can
367	generally easily keep track of about 7 different things, anything more
368	and it gets confused.  You know you're brilliant, but maybe you'd like
369	to understand what you did 2 weeks from now.
371	In source files, separate functions with one blank line.  If the function is
372	exported, the EXPORT* macro for it should follow immediately after the closing
373	function brace line.  E.g.:
375	int system_is_up(void)
376	{
377		return system_state == SYSTEM_RUNNING;
378	}
379	EXPORT_SYMBOL(system_is_up);
381	In function prototypes, include parameter names with their data types.
382	Although this is not required by the C language, it is preferred in Linux
383	because it is a simple way to add valuable information for the reader.
386			Chapter 7: Centralized exiting of functions
388	Albeit deprecated by some people, the equivalent of the goto statement is
389	used frequently by compilers in form of the unconditional jump instruction.
391	The goto statement comes in handy when a function exits from multiple
392	locations and some common work such as cleanup has to be done.  If there is no
393	cleanup needed then just return directly.
395	The rationale is:
397	- unconditional statements are easier to understand and follow
398	- nesting is reduced
399	- errors by not updating individual exit points when making
400	    modifications are prevented
401	- saves the compiler work to optimize redundant code away ;)
403	int fun(int a)
404	{
405		int result = 0;
406		char *buffer = kmalloc(SIZE);
408		if (buffer == NULL)
409			return -ENOMEM;
411		if (condition1) {
412			while (loop1) {
413				...
414			}
415			result = 1;
416			goto out;
417		}
418		...
419	out:
420		kfree(buffer);
421		return result;
422	}
424			Chapter 8: Commenting
426	Comments are good, but there is also a danger of over-commenting.  NEVER
427	try to explain HOW your code works in a comment: it's much better to
428	write the code so that the _working_ is obvious, and it's a waste of
429	time to explain badly written code.
431	Generally, you want your comments to tell WHAT your code does, not HOW.
432	Also, try to avoid putting comments inside a function body: if the
433	function is so complex that you need to separately comment parts of it,
434	you should probably go back to chapter 6 for a while.  You can make
435	small comments to note or warn about something particularly clever (or
436	ugly), but try to avoid excess.  Instead, put the comments at the head
437	of the function, telling people what it does, and possibly WHY it does
438	it.
440	When commenting the kernel API functions, please use the kernel-doc format.
441	See the files Documentation/kernel-doc-nano-HOWTO.txt and scripts/kernel-doc
442	for details.
444	Linux style for comments is the C89 "/* ... */" style.
445	Don't use C99-style "// ..." comments.
447	The preferred style for long (multi-line) comments is:
449		/*
450		 * This is the preferred style for multi-line
451		 * comments in the Linux kernel source code.
452		 * Please use it consistently.
453		 *
454		 * Description:  A column of asterisks on the left side,
455		 * with beginning and ending almost-blank lines.
456		 */
458	For files in net/ and drivers/net/ the preferred style for long (multi-line)
459	comments is a little different.
461		/* The preferred comment style for files in net/ and drivers/net
462		 * looks like this.
463		 *
464		 * It is nearly the same as the generally preferred comment style,
465		 * but there is no initial almost-blank line.
466		 */
468	It's also important to comment data, whether they are basic types or derived
469	types.  To this end, use just one data declaration per line (no commas for
470	multiple data declarations).  This leaves you room for a small comment on each
471	item, explaining its use.
474			Chapter 9: You've made a mess of it
476	That's OK, we all do.  You've probably been told by your long-time Unix
477	user helper that "GNU emacs" automatically formats the C sources for
478	you, and you've noticed that yes, it does do that, but the defaults it
479	uses are less than desirable (in fact, they are worse than random
480	typing - an infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never
481	make a good program).
483	So, you can either get rid of GNU emacs, or change it to use saner
484	values.  To do the latter, you can stick the following in your .emacs file:
486	(defun c-lineup-arglist-tabs-only (ignored)
487	  "Line up argument lists by tabs, not spaces"
488	  (let* ((anchor (c-langelem-pos c-syntactic-element))
489		 (column (c-langelem-2nd-pos c-syntactic-element))
490		 (offset (- (1+ column) anchor))
491		 (steps (floor offset c-basic-offset)))
492	    (* (max steps 1)
493	       c-basic-offset)))
495	(add-hook 'c-mode-common-hook
496	          (lambda ()
497	            ;; Add kernel style
498	            (c-add-style
499	             "linux-tabs-only"
500	             '("linux" (c-offsets-alist
501	                        (arglist-cont-nonempty
502	                         c-lineup-gcc-asm-reg
503	                         c-lineup-arglist-tabs-only))))))
505	(add-hook 'c-mode-hook
506	          (lambda ()
507	            (let ((filename (buffer-file-name)))
508	              ;; Enable kernel mode for the appropriate files
509	              (when (and filename
510	                         (string-match (expand-file-name "~/src/linux-trees")
511	                                       filename))
512	                (setq indent-tabs-mode t)
513	                (c-set-style "linux-tabs-only")))))
515	This will make emacs go better with the kernel coding style for C
516	files below ~/src/linux-trees.
518	But even if you fail in getting emacs to do sane formatting, not
519	everything is lost: use "indent".
521	Now, again, GNU indent has the same brain-dead settings that GNU emacs
522	has, which is why you need to give it a few command line options.
523	However, that's not too bad, because even the makers of GNU indent
524	recognize the authority of K&R (the GNU people aren't evil, they are
525	just severely misguided in this matter), so you just give indent the
526	options "-kr -i8" (stands for "K&R, 8 character indents"), or use
527	"scripts/Lindent", which indents in the latest style.
529	"indent" has a lot of options, and especially when it comes to comment
530	re-formatting you may want to take a look at the man page.  But
531	remember: "indent" is not a fix for bad programming.
534			Chapter 10: Kconfig configuration files
536	For all of the Kconfig* configuration files throughout the source tree,
537	the indentation is somewhat different.  Lines under a "config" definition
538	are indented with one tab, while help text is indented an additional two
539	spaces.  Example:
541	config AUDIT
542		bool "Auditing support"
543		depends on NET
544		help
545		  Enable auditing infrastructure that can be used with another
546		  kernel subsystem, such as SELinux (which requires this for
547		  logging of avc messages output).  Does not do system-call
548		  auditing without CONFIG_AUDITSYSCALL.
550	Seriously dangerous features (such as write support for certain
551	filesystems) should advertise this prominently in their prompt string:
553	config ADFS_FS_RW
554		bool "ADFS write support (DANGEROUS)"
555		depends on ADFS_FS
556		...
558	For full documentation on the configuration files, see the file
559	Documentation/kbuild/kconfig-language.txt.
562			Chapter 11: Data structures
564	Data structures that have visibility outside the single-threaded
565	environment they are created and destroyed in should always have
566	reference counts.  In the kernel, garbage collection doesn't exist (and
567	outside the kernel garbage collection is slow and inefficient), which
568	means that you absolutely _have_ to reference count all your uses.
570	Reference counting means that you can avoid locking, and allows multiple
571	users to have access to the data structure in parallel - and not having
572	to worry about the structure suddenly going away from under them just
573	because they slept or did something else for a while.
575	Note that locking is _not_ a replacement for reference counting.
576	Locking is used to keep data structures coherent, while reference
577	counting is a memory management technique.  Usually both are needed, and
578	they are not to be confused with each other.
580	Many data structures can indeed have two levels of reference counting,
581	when there are users of different "classes".  The subclass count counts
582	the number of subclass users, and decrements the global count just once
583	when the subclass count goes to zero.
585	Examples of this kind of "multi-level-reference-counting" can be found in
586	memory management ("struct mm_struct": mm_users and mm_count), and in
587	filesystem code ("struct super_block": s_count and s_active).
589	Remember: if another thread can find your data structure, and you don't
590	have a reference count on it, you almost certainly have a bug.
593			Chapter 12: Macros, Enums and RTL
595	Names of macros defining constants and labels in enums are capitalized.
597	#define CONSTANT 0x12345
599	Enums are preferred when defining several related constants.
601	CAPITALIZED macro names are appreciated but macros resembling functions
602	may be named in lower case.
604	Generally, inline functions are preferable to macros resembling functions.
606	Macros with multiple statements should be enclosed in a do - while block:
608	#define macrofun(a, b, c) 			\
609		do {					\
610			if (a == 5)			\
611				do_this(b, c);		\
612		} while (0)
614	Things to avoid when using macros:
616	1) macros that affect control flow:
618	#define FOO(x)					\
619		do {					\
620			if (blah(x) < 0)		\
621				return -EBUGGERED;	\
622		} while(0)
624	is a _very_ bad idea.  It looks like a function call but exits the "calling"
625	function; don't break the internal parsers of those who will read the code.
627	2) macros that depend on having a local variable with a magic name:
629	#define FOO(val) bar(index, val)
631	might look like a good thing, but it's confusing as hell when one reads the
632	code and it's prone to breakage from seemingly innocent changes.
634	3) macros with arguments that are used as l-values: FOO(x) = y; will
635	bite you if somebody e.g. turns FOO into an inline function.
637	4) forgetting about precedence: macros defining constants using expressions
638	must enclose the expression in parentheses. Beware of similar issues with
639	macros using parameters.
641	#define CONSTANT 0x4000
642	#define CONSTEXP (CONSTANT | 3)
644	The cpp manual deals with macros exhaustively. The gcc internals manual also
645	covers RTL which is used frequently with assembly language in the kernel.
648			Chapter 13: Printing kernel messages
650	Kernel developers like to be seen as literate. Do mind the spelling
651	of kernel messages to make a good impression. Do not use crippled
652	words like "dont"; use "do not" or "don't" instead.  Make the messages
653	concise, clear, and unambiguous.
655	Kernel messages do not have to be terminated with a period.
657	Printing numbers in parentheses (%d) adds no value and should be avoided.
659	There are a number of driver model diagnostic macros in <linux/device.h>
660	which you should use to make sure messages are matched to the right device
661	and driver, and are tagged with the right level:  dev_err(), dev_warn(),
662	dev_info(), and so forth.  For messages that aren't associated with a
663	particular device, <linux/printk.h> defines pr_notice(), pr_info(),
664	pr_warn(), pr_err(), etc.
666	Coming up with good debugging messages can be quite a challenge; and once
667	you have them, they can be a huge help for remote troubleshooting.  However
668	debug message printing is handled differently than printing other non-debug
669	messages.  While the other pr_XXX() functions print unconditionally,
670	pr_debug() does not; it is compiled out by default, unless either DEBUG is
671	defined or CONFIG_DYNAMIC_DEBUG is set.  That is true for dev_dbg() also,
672	and a related convention uses VERBOSE_DEBUG to add dev_vdbg() messages to
673	the ones already enabled by DEBUG.
675	Many subsystems have Kconfig debug options to turn on -DDEBUG in the
676	corresponding Makefile; in other cases specific files #define DEBUG.  And
677	when a debug message should be unconditionally printed, such as if it is
678	already inside a debug-related #ifdef secton, printk(KERN_DEBUG ...) can be
679	used.
682			Chapter 14: Allocating memory
684	The kernel provides the following general purpose memory allocators:
685	kmalloc(), kzalloc(), kmalloc_array(), kcalloc(), vmalloc(), and
686	vzalloc().  Please refer to the API documentation for further information
687	about them.
689	The preferred form for passing a size of a struct is the following:
691		p = kmalloc(sizeof(*p), ...);
693	The alternative form where struct name is spelled out hurts readability and
694	introduces an opportunity for a bug when the pointer variable type is changed
695	but the corresponding sizeof that is passed to a memory allocator is not.
697	Casting the return value which is a void pointer is redundant. The conversion
698	from void pointer to any other pointer type is guaranteed by the C programming
699	language.
701	The preferred form for allocating an array is the following:
703		p = kmalloc_array(n, sizeof(...), ...);
705	The preferred form for allocating a zeroed array is the following:
707		p = kcalloc(n, sizeof(...), ...);
709	Both forms check for overflow on the allocation size n * sizeof(...),
710	and return NULL if that occurred.
713			Chapter 15: The inline disease
715	There appears to be a common misperception that gcc has a magic "make me
716	faster" speedup option called "inline". While the use of inlines can be
717	appropriate (for example as a means of replacing macros, see Chapter 12), it
718	very often is not. Abundant use of the inline keyword leads to a much bigger
719	kernel, which in turn slows the system as a whole down, due to a bigger
720	icache footprint for the CPU and simply because there is less memory
721	available for the pagecache. Just think about it; a pagecache miss causes a
722	disk seek, which easily takes 5 milliseconds. There are a LOT of cpu cycles
723	that can go into these 5 milliseconds.
725	A reasonable rule of thumb is to not put inline at functions that have more
726	than 3 lines of code in them. An exception to this rule are the cases where
727	a parameter is known to be a compiletime constant, and as a result of this
728	constantness you *know* the compiler will be able to optimize most of your
729	function away at compile time. For a good example of this later case, see
730	the kmalloc() inline function.
732	Often people argue that adding inline to functions that are static and used
733	only once is always a win since there is no space tradeoff. While this is
734	technically correct, gcc is capable of inlining these automatically without
735	help, and the maintenance issue of removing the inline when a second user
736	appears outweighs the potential value of the hint that tells gcc to do
737	something it would have done anyway.
740			Chapter 16: Function return values and names
742	Functions can return values of many different kinds, and one of the
743	most common is a value indicating whether the function succeeded or
744	failed.  Such a value can be represented as an error-code integer
745	(-Exxx = failure, 0 = success) or a "succeeded" boolean (0 = failure,
746	non-zero = success).
748	Mixing up these two sorts of representations is a fertile source of
749	difficult-to-find bugs.  If the C language included a strong distinction
750	between integers and booleans then the compiler would find these mistakes
751	for us... but it doesn't.  To help prevent such bugs, always follow this
752	convention:
754		If the name of a function is an action or an imperative command,
755		the function should return an error-code integer.  If the name
756		is a predicate, the function should return a "succeeded" boolean.
758	For example, "add work" is a command, and the add_work() function returns 0
759	for success or -EBUSY for failure.  In the same way, "PCI device present" is
760	a predicate, and the pci_dev_present() function returns 1 if it succeeds in
761	finding a matching device or 0 if it doesn't.
763	All EXPORTed functions must respect this convention, and so should all
764	public functions.  Private (static) functions need not, but it is
765	recommended that they do.
767	Functions whose return value is the actual result of a computation, rather
768	than an indication of whether the computation succeeded, are not subject to
769	this rule.  Generally they indicate failure by returning some out-of-range
770	result.  Typical examples would be functions that return pointers; they use
771	NULL or the ERR_PTR mechanism to report failure.
774			Chapter 17:  Don't re-invent the kernel macros
776	The header file include/linux/kernel.h contains a number of macros that
777	you should use, rather than explicitly coding some variant of them yourself.
778	For example, if you need to calculate the length of an array, take advantage
779	of the macro
781	  #define ARRAY_SIZE(x) (sizeof(x) / sizeof((x)[0]))
783	Similarly, if you need to calculate the size of some structure member, use
785	  #define FIELD_SIZEOF(t, f) (sizeof(((t*)0)->f))
787	There are also min() and max() macros that do strict type checking if you
788	need them.  Feel free to peruse that header file to see what else is already
789	defined that you shouldn't reproduce in your code.
792			Chapter 18:  Editor modelines and other cruft
794	Some editors can interpret configuration information embedded in source files,
795	indicated with special markers.  For example, emacs interprets lines marked
796	like this:
798	-*- mode: c -*-
800	Or like this:
802	/*
803	Local Variables:
804	compile-command: "gcc -DMAGIC_DEBUG_FLAG foo.c"
805	End:
806	*/
808	Vim interprets markers that look like this:
810	/* vim:set sw=8 noet */
812	Do not include any of these in source files.  People have their own personal
813	editor configurations, and your source files should not override them.  This
814	includes markers for indentation and mode configuration.  People may use their
815	own custom mode, or may have some other magic method for making indentation
816	work correctly.
819			Chapter 19:  Inline assembly
821	In architecture-specific code, you may need to use inline assembly to interface
822	with CPU or platform functionality.  Don't hesitate to do so when necessary.
823	However, don't use inline assembly gratuitously when C can do the job.  You can
824	and should poke hardware from C when possible.
826	Consider writing simple helper functions that wrap common bits of inline
827	assembly, rather than repeatedly writing them with slight variations.  Remember
828	that inline assembly can use C parameters.
830	Large, non-trivial assembly functions should go in .S files, with corresponding
831	C prototypes defined in C header files.  The C prototypes for assembly
832	functions should use "asmlinkage".
834	You may need to mark your asm statement as volatile, to prevent GCC from
835	removing it if GCC doesn't notice any side effects.  You don't always need to
836	do so, though, and doing so unnecessarily can limit optimization.
838	When writing a single inline assembly statement containing multiple
839	instructions, put each instruction on a separate line in a separate quoted
840	string, and end each string except the last with \n\t to properly indent the
841	next instruction in the assembly output:
843		asm ("magic %reg1, #42\n\t"
844		     "more_magic %reg2, %reg3"
845		     : /* outputs */ : /* inputs */ : /* clobbers */);
849			Appendix I: References
851	The C Programming Language, Second Edition
852	by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie.
853	Prentice Hall, Inc., 1988.
854	ISBN 0-13-110362-8 (paperback), 0-13-110370-9 (hardback).
855	URL: http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cbook/
857	The Practice of Programming
858	by Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike.
859	Addison-Wesley, Inc., 1999.
860	ISBN 0-201-61586-X.
861	URL: http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/tpop/
863	GNU manuals - where in compliance with K&R and this text - for cpp, gcc,
864	gcc internals and indent, all available from http://www.gnu.org/manual/
866	WG14 is the international standardization working group for the programming
867	language C, URL: http://www.open-std.org/JTC1/SC22/WG14/
869	Kernel CodingStyle, by greg@kroah.com at OLS 2002:
870	http://www.kroah.com/linux/talks/ols_2002_kernel_codingstyle_talk/html/
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