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Based on kernel version 4.0. Page generated on 2015-04-14 21:20 EST.

1	
2			Linux kernel coding style
3	
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.
9	
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.
12	
13	Anyway, here goes:
14	
15	
16		 	Chapter 1: Indentation
17	
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.
22	
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.
27	
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.
33	
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.
37	
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.:
41	
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		}
58	
59	
60	Don't put multiple statements on a single line unless you have
61	something to hide:
62	
63		if (condition) do_this;
64		  do_something_everytime;
65	
66	Don't put multiple assignments on a single line either.  Kernel coding style
67	is super simple.  Avoid tricky expressions.
68	
69	Outside of comments, documentation and except in Kconfig, spaces are never
70	used for indentation, and the above example is deliberately broken.
71	
72	Get a decent editor and don't leave whitespace at the end of lines.
73	
74	
75			Chapter 2: Breaking long lines and strings
76	
77	Coding style is all about readability and maintainability using commonly
78	available tools.
79	
80	The limit on the length of lines is 80 columns and this is a strongly
81	preferred limit.
82	
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.
89	
90	
91			Chapter 3: Placing Braces and Spaces
92	
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:
98	
99		if (x is true) {
100			we do y
101		}
102	
103	This applies to all non-function statement blocks (if, switch, for,
104	while, do).  E.g.:
105	
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		}
116	
117	However, there is one special case, namely functions: they have the
118	opening brace at the beginning of the next line, thus:
119	
120		int function(int x)
121		{
122			body of function
123		}
124	
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).
129	
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:
134	
135		do {
136			body of do-loop
137		} while (condition);
138	
139	and
140	
141		if (x == y) {
142			..
143		} else if (x > y) {
144			...
145		} else {
146			....
147		}
148	
149	Rationale: K&R.
150	
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.
156	
157	Do not unnecessarily use braces where a single statement will do.
158	
159	if (condition)
160		action();
161	
162	and
163	
164	if (condition)
165		do_this();
166	else
167		do_that();
168	
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:
171	
172	if (condition) {
173		do_this();
174		do_that();
175	} else {
176		otherwise();
177	}
178	
179			3.1:  Spaces
180	
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).
187	
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);
192	
193	Do not add spaces around (inside) parenthesized expressions.  This example is
194	*bad*:
195	
196		s = sizeof( struct file );
197	
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:
201	
202		char *linux_banner;
203		unsigned long long memparse(char *ptr, char **retptr);
204		char *match_strdup(substring_t *s);
205	
206	Use one space around (on each side of) most binary and ternary operators,
207	such as any of these:
208	
209		=  +  -  <  >  *  /  %  |  &  ^  <=  >=  ==  !=  ?  :
210	
211	but no space after unary operators:
212		&  *  +  -  ~  !  sizeof  typeof  alignof  __attribute__  defined
213	
214	no space before the postfix increment & decrement unary operators:
215		++  --
216	
217	no space after the prefix increment & decrement unary operators:
218		++  --
219	
220	and no space around the '.' and "->" structure member operators.
221	
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.
228	
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.
233	
234	
235			Chapter 4: Naming
236	
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.
242	
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.
246	
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()".
251	
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.
256	
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.
262	
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).
266	
267	
268			Chapter 5: Typedefs
269	
270	Please don't use things like "vps_t".
271	
272	It's a _mistake_ to use typedef for structures and pointers. When you see a
273	
274		vps_t a;
275	
276	in the source, what does it mean?
277	
278	In contrast, if it says
279	
280		struct virtual_container *a;
281	
282	you can actually tell what "a" is.
283	
284	Lots of people think that typedefs "help readability". Not so. They are
285	useful only for:
286	
287	 (a) totally opaque objects (where the typedef is actively used to _hide_
288	     what the object is).
289	
290	     Example: "pte_t" etc. opaque objects that you can only access using
291	     the proper accessor functions.
292	
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.
296	
297	 (b) Clear integer types, where the abstraction _helps_ avoid confusion
298	     whether it is "int" or "long".
299	
300	     u8/u16/u32 are perfectly fine typedefs, although they fit into
301	     category (d) better than here.
302	
303	     NOTE! Again - there needs to be a _reason_ for this. If something is
304	     "unsigned long", then there's no reason to do
305	
306		typedef unsigned long myflags_t;
307	
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.
311	
312	 (c) when you use sparse to literally create a _new_ type for
313	     type-checking.
314	
315	 (d) New types which are identical to standard C99 types, in certain
316	     exceptional circumstances.
317	
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.
321	
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.
326	
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.
329	
330	 (e) Types safe for use in userspace.
331	
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.
336	
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.
339	
340	In general, a pointer, or a struct that has elements that can reasonably
341	be directly accessed should _never_ be a typedef.
342	
343	
344			Chapter 6: Functions
345	
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.
349	
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.
355	
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).
363	
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.
370	
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.:
374	
375	int system_is_up(void)
376	{
377		return system_state == SYSTEM_RUNNING;
378	}
379	EXPORT_SYMBOL(system_is_up);
380	
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.
384	
385	
386			Chapter 7: Centralized exiting of functions
387	
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.
390	
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.
394	
395	Choose label names which say what the goto does or why the goto exists.  An
396	example of a good name could be "out_buffer:" if the goto frees "buffer".  Avoid
397	using GW-BASIC names like "err1:" and "err2:".  Also don't name them after the
398	goto location like "err_kmalloc_failed:"
399	
400	The rationale for using gotos is:
401	
402	- unconditional statements are easier to understand and follow
403	- nesting is reduced
404	- errors by not updating individual exit points when making
405	    modifications are prevented
406	- saves the compiler work to optimize redundant code away ;)
407	
408	int fun(int a)
409	{
410		int result = 0;
411		char *buffer;
412	
413		buffer = kmalloc(SIZE, GFP_KERNEL);
414		if (!buffer)
415			return -ENOMEM;
416	
417		if (condition1) {
418			while (loop1) {
419				...
420			}
421			result = 1;
422			goto out_buffer;
423		}
424		...
425	out_buffer:
426		kfree(buffer);
427		return result;
428	}
429	
430	A common type of bug to be aware of it "one err bugs" which look like this:
431	
432	err:
433		kfree(foo->bar);
434		kfree(foo);
435		return ret;
436	
437	The bug in this code is that on some exit paths "foo" is NULL.  Normally the
438	fix for this is to split it up into two error labels "err_bar:" and "err_foo:".
439	
440	
441			Chapter 8: Commenting
442	
443	Comments are good, but there is also a danger of over-commenting.  NEVER
444	try to explain HOW your code works in a comment: it's much better to
445	write the code so that the _working_ is obvious, and it's a waste of
446	time to explain badly written code.
447	
448	Generally, you want your comments to tell WHAT your code does, not HOW.
449	Also, try to avoid putting comments inside a function body: if the
450	function is so complex that you need to separately comment parts of it,
451	you should probably go back to chapter 6 for a while.  You can make
452	small comments to note or warn about something particularly clever (or
453	ugly), but try to avoid excess.  Instead, put the comments at the head
454	of the function, telling people what it does, and possibly WHY it does
455	it.
456	
457	When commenting the kernel API functions, please use the kernel-doc format.
458	See the files Documentation/kernel-doc-nano-HOWTO.txt and scripts/kernel-doc
459	for details.
460	
461	Linux style for comments is the C89 "/* ... */" style.
462	Don't use C99-style "// ..." comments.
463	
464	The preferred style for long (multi-line) comments is:
465	
466		/*
467		 * This is the preferred style for multi-line
468		 * comments in the Linux kernel source code.
469		 * Please use it consistently.
470		 *
471		 * Description:  A column of asterisks on the left side,
472		 * with beginning and ending almost-blank lines.
473		 */
474	
475	For files in net/ and drivers/net/ the preferred style for long (multi-line)
476	comments is a little different.
477	
478		/* The preferred comment style for files in net/ and drivers/net
479		 * looks like this.
480		 *
481		 * It is nearly the same as the generally preferred comment style,
482		 * but there is no initial almost-blank line.
483		 */
484	
485	It's also important to comment data, whether they are basic types or derived
486	types.  To this end, use just one data declaration per line (no commas for
487	multiple data declarations).  This leaves you room for a small comment on each
488	item, explaining its use.
489	
490	
491			Chapter 9: You've made a mess of it
492	
493	That's OK, we all do.  You've probably been told by your long-time Unix
494	user helper that "GNU emacs" automatically formats the C sources for
495	you, and you've noticed that yes, it does do that, but the defaults it
496	uses are less than desirable (in fact, they are worse than random
497	typing - an infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never
498	make a good program).
499	
500	So, you can either get rid of GNU emacs, or change it to use saner
501	values.  To do the latter, you can stick the following in your .emacs file:
502	
503	(defun c-lineup-arglist-tabs-only (ignored)
504	  "Line up argument lists by tabs, not spaces"
505	  (let* ((anchor (c-langelem-pos c-syntactic-element))
506		 (column (c-langelem-2nd-pos c-syntactic-element))
507		 (offset (- (1+ column) anchor))
508		 (steps (floor offset c-basic-offset)))
509	    (* (max steps 1)
510	       c-basic-offset)))
511	
512	(add-hook 'c-mode-common-hook
513	          (lambda ()
514	            ;; Add kernel style
515	            (c-add-style
516	             "linux-tabs-only"
517	             '("linux" (c-offsets-alist
518	                        (arglist-cont-nonempty
519	                         c-lineup-gcc-asm-reg
520	                         c-lineup-arglist-tabs-only))))))
521	
522	(add-hook 'c-mode-hook
523	          (lambda ()
524	            (let ((filename (buffer-file-name)))
525	              ;; Enable kernel mode for the appropriate files
526	              (when (and filename
527	                         (string-match (expand-file-name "~/src/linux-trees")
528	                                       filename))
529	                (setq indent-tabs-mode t)
530	                (setq show-trailing-whitespace t)
531	                (c-set-style "linux-tabs-only")))))
532	
533	This will make emacs go better with the kernel coding style for C
534	files below ~/src/linux-trees.
535	
536	But even if you fail in getting emacs to do sane formatting, not
537	everything is lost: use "indent".
538	
539	Now, again, GNU indent has the same brain-dead settings that GNU emacs
540	has, which is why you need to give it a few command line options.
541	However, that's not too bad, because even the makers of GNU indent
542	recognize the authority of K&R (the GNU people aren't evil, they are
543	just severely misguided in this matter), so you just give indent the
544	options "-kr -i8" (stands for "K&R, 8 character indents"), or use
545	"scripts/Lindent", which indents in the latest style.
546	
547	"indent" has a lot of options, and especially when it comes to comment
548	re-formatting you may want to take a look at the man page.  But
549	remember: "indent" is not a fix for bad programming.
550	
551	
552			Chapter 10: Kconfig configuration files
553	
554	For all of the Kconfig* configuration files throughout the source tree,
555	the indentation is somewhat different.  Lines under a "config" definition
556	are indented with one tab, while help text is indented an additional two
557	spaces.  Example:
558	
559	config AUDIT
560		bool "Auditing support"
561		depends on NET
562		help
563		  Enable auditing infrastructure that can be used with another
564		  kernel subsystem, such as SELinux (which requires this for
565		  logging of avc messages output).  Does not do system-call
566		  auditing without CONFIG_AUDITSYSCALL.
567	
568	Seriously dangerous features (such as write support for certain
569	filesystems) should advertise this prominently in their prompt string:
570	
571	config ADFS_FS_RW
572		bool "ADFS write support (DANGEROUS)"
573		depends on ADFS_FS
574		...
575	
576	For full documentation on the configuration files, see the file
577	Documentation/kbuild/kconfig-language.txt.
578	
579	
580			Chapter 11: Data structures
581	
582	Data structures that have visibility outside the single-threaded
583	environment they are created and destroyed in should always have
584	reference counts.  In the kernel, garbage collection doesn't exist (and
585	outside the kernel garbage collection is slow and inefficient), which
586	means that you absolutely _have_ to reference count all your uses.
587	
588	Reference counting means that you can avoid locking, and allows multiple
589	users to have access to the data structure in parallel - and not having
590	to worry about the structure suddenly going away from under them just
591	because they slept or did something else for a while.
592	
593	Note that locking is _not_ a replacement for reference counting.
594	Locking is used to keep data structures coherent, while reference
595	counting is a memory management technique.  Usually both are needed, and
596	they are not to be confused with each other.
597	
598	Many data structures can indeed have two levels of reference counting,
599	when there are users of different "classes".  The subclass count counts
600	the number of subclass users, and decrements the global count just once
601	when the subclass count goes to zero.
602	
603	Examples of this kind of "multi-level-reference-counting" can be found in
604	memory management ("struct mm_struct": mm_users and mm_count), and in
605	filesystem code ("struct super_block": s_count and s_active).
606	
607	Remember: if another thread can find your data structure, and you don't
608	have a reference count on it, you almost certainly have a bug.
609	
610	
611			Chapter 12: Macros, Enums and RTL
612	
613	Names of macros defining constants and labels in enums are capitalized.
614	
615	#define CONSTANT 0x12345
616	
617	Enums are preferred when defining several related constants.
618	
619	CAPITALIZED macro names are appreciated but macros resembling functions
620	may be named in lower case.
621	
622	Generally, inline functions are preferable to macros resembling functions.
623	
624	Macros with multiple statements should be enclosed in a do - while block:
625	
626	#define macrofun(a, b, c) 			\
627		do {					\
628			if (a == 5)			\
629				do_this(b, c);		\
630		} while (0)
631	
632	Things to avoid when using macros:
633	
634	1) macros that affect control flow:
635	
636	#define FOO(x)					\
637		do {					\
638			if (blah(x) < 0)		\
639				return -EBUGGERED;	\
640		} while(0)
641	
642	is a _very_ bad idea.  It looks like a function call but exits the "calling"
643	function; don't break the internal parsers of those who will read the code.
644	
645	2) macros that depend on having a local variable with a magic name:
646	
647	#define FOO(val) bar(index, val)
648	
649	might look like a good thing, but it's confusing as hell when one reads the
650	code and it's prone to breakage from seemingly innocent changes.
651	
652	3) macros with arguments that are used as l-values: FOO(x) = y; will
653	bite you if somebody e.g. turns FOO into an inline function.
654	
655	4) forgetting about precedence: macros defining constants using expressions
656	must enclose the expression in parentheses. Beware of similar issues with
657	macros using parameters.
658	
659	#define CONSTANT 0x4000
660	#define CONSTEXP (CONSTANT | 3)
661	
662	The cpp manual deals with macros exhaustively. The gcc internals manual also
663	covers RTL which is used frequently with assembly language in the kernel.
664	
665	
666			Chapter 13: Printing kernel messages
667	
668	Kernel developers like to be seen as literate. Do mind the spelling
669	of kernel messages to make a good impression. Do not use crippled
670	words like "dont"; use "do not" or "don't" instead.  Make the messages
671	concise, clear, and unambiguous.
672	
673	Kernel messages do not have to be terminated with a period.
674	
675	Printing numbers in parentheses (%d) adds no value and should be avoided.
676	
677	There are a number of driver model diagnostic macros in <linux/device.h>
678	which you should use to make sure messages are matched to the right device
679	and driver, and are tagged with the right level:  dev_err(), dev_warn(),
680	dev_info(), and so forth.  For messages that aren't associated with a
681	particular device, <linux/printk.h> defines pr_notice(), pr_info(),
682	pr_warn(), pr_err(), etc.
683	
684	Coming up with good debugging messages can be quite a challenge; and once
685	you have them, they can be a huge help for remote troubleshooting.  However
686	debug message printing is handled differently than printing other non-debug
687	messages.  While the other pr_XXX() functions print unconditionally,
688	pr_debug() does not; it is compiled out by default, unless either DEBUG is
689	defined or CONFIG_DYNAMIC_DEBUG is set.  That is true for dev_dbg() also,
690	and a related convention uses VERBOSE_DEBUG to add dev_vdbg() messages to
691	the ones already enabled by DEBUG.
692	
693	Many subsystems have Kconfig debug options to turn on -DDEBUG in the
694	corresponding Makefile; in other cases specific files #define DEBUG.  And
695	when a debug message should be unconditionally printed, such as if it is
696	already inside a debug-related #ifdef section, printk(KERN_DEBUG ...) can be
697	used.
698	
699	
700			Chapter 14: Allocating memory
701	
702	The kernel provides the following general purpose memory allocators:
703	kmalloc(), kzalloc(), kmalloc_array(), kcalloc(), vmalloc(), and
704	vzalloc().  Please refer to the API documentation for further information
705	about them.
706	
707	The preferred form for passing a size of a struct is the following:
708	
709		p = kmalloc(sizeof(*p), ...);
710	
711	The alternative form where struct name is spelled out hurts readability and
712	introduces an opportunity for a bug when the pointer variable type is changed
713	but the corresponding sizeof that is passed to a memory allocator is not.
714	
715	Casting the return value which is a void pointer is redundant. The conversion
716	from void pointer to any other pointer type is guaranteed by the C programming
717	language.
718	
719	The preferred form for allocating an array is the following:
720	
721		p = kmalloc_array(n, sizeof(...), ...);
722	
723	The preferred form for allocating a zeroed array is the following:
724	
725		p = kcalloc(n, sizeof(...), ...);
726	
727	Both forms check for overflow on the allocation size n * sizeof(...),
728	and return NULL if that occurred.
729	
730	
731			Chapter 15: The inline disease
732	
733	There appears to be a common misperception that gcc has a magic "make me
734	faster" speedup option called "inline". While the use of inlines can be
735	appropriate (for example as a means of replacing macros, see Chapter 12), it
736	very often is not. Abundant use of the inline keyword leads to a much bigger
737	kernel, which in turn slows the system as a whole down, due to a bigger
738	icache footprint for the CPU and simply because there is less memory
739	available for the pagecache. Just think about it; a pagecache miss causes a
740	disk seek, which easily takes 5 milliseconds. There are a LOT of cpu cycles
741	that can go into these 5 milliseconds.
742	
743	A reasonable rule of thumb is to not put inline at functions that have more
744	than 3 lines of code in them. An exception to this rule are the cases where
745	a parameter is known to be a compiletime constant, and as a result of this
746	constantness you *know* the compiler will be able to optimize most of your
747	function away at compile time. For a good example of this later case, see
748	the kmalloc() inline function.
749	
750	Often people argue that adding inline to functions that are static and used
751	only once is always a win since there is no space tradeoff. While this is
752	technically correct, gcc is capable of inlining these automatically without
753	help, and the maintenance issue of removing the inline when a second user
754	appears outweighs the potential value of the hint that tells gcc to do
755	something it would have done anyway.
756	
757	
758			Chapter 16: Function return values and names
759	
760	Functions can return values of many different kinds, and one of the
761	most common is a value indicating whether the function succeeded or
762	failed.  Such a value can be represented as an error-code integer
763	(-Exxx = failure, 0 = success) or a "succeeded" boolean (0 = failure,
764	non-zero = success).
765	
766	Mixing up these two sorts of representations is a fertile source of
767	difficult-to-find bugs.  If the C language included a strong distinction
768	between integers and booleans then the compiler would find these mistakes
769	for us... but it doesn't.  To help prevent such bugs, always follow this
770	convention:
771	
772		If the name of a function is an action or an imperative command,
773		the function should return an error-code integer.  If the name
774		is a predicate, the function should return a "succeeded" boolean.
775	
776	For example, "add work" is a command, and the add_work() function returns 0
777	for success or -EBUSY for failure.  In the same way, "PCI device present" is
778	a predicate, and the pci_dev_present() function returns 1 if it succeeds in
779	finding a matching device or 0 if it doesn't.
780	
781	All EXPORTed functions must respect this convention, and so should all
782	public functions.  Private (static) functions need not, but it is
783	recommended that they do.
784	
785	Functions whose return value is the actual result of a computation, rather
786	than an indication of whether the computation succeeded, are not subject to
787	this rule.  Generally they indicate failure by returning some out-of-range
788	result.  Typical examples would be functions that return pointers; they use
789	NULL or the ERR_PTR mechanism to report failure.
790	
791	
792			Chapter 17:  Don't re-invent the kernel macros
793	
794	The header file include/linux/kernel.h contains a number of macros that
795	you should use, rather than explicitly coding some variant of them yourself.
796	For example, if you need to calculate the length of an array, take advantage
797	of the macro
798	
799	  #define ARRAY_SIZE(x) (sizeof(x) / sizeof((x)[0]))
800	
801	Similarly, if you need to calculate the size of some structure member, use
802	
803	  #define FIELD_SIZEOF(t, f) (sizeof(((t*)0)->f))
804	
805	There are also min() and max() macros that do strict type checking if you
806	need them.  Feel free to peruse that header file to see what else is already
807	defined that you shouldn't reproduce in your code.
808	
809	
810			Chapter 18:  Editor modelines and other cruft
811	
812	Some editors can interpret configuration information embedded in source files,
813	indicated with special markers.  For example, emacs interprets lines marked
814	like this:
815	
816	-*- mode: c -*-
817	
818	Or like this:
819	
820	/*
821	Local Variables:
822	compile-command: "gcc -DMAGIC_DEBUG_FLAG foo.c"
823	End:
824	*/
825	
826	Vim interprets markers that look like this:
827	
828	/* vim:set sw=8 noet */
829	
830	Do not include any of these in source files.  People have their own personal
831	editor configurations, and your source files should not override them.  This
832	includes markers for indentation and mode configuration.  People may use their
833	own custom mode, or may have some other magic method for making indentation
834	work correctly.
835	
836	
837			Chapter 19:  Inline assembly
838	
839	In architecture-specific code, you may need to use inline assembly to interface
840	with CPU or platform functionality.  Don't hesitate to do so when necessary.
841	However, don't use inline assembly gratuitously when C can do the job.  You can
842	and should poke hardware from C when possible.
843	
844	Consider writing simple helper functions that wrap common bits of inline
845	assembly, rather than repeatedly writing them with slight variations.  Remember
846	that inline assembly can use C parameters.
847	
848	Large, non-trivial assembly functions should go in .S files, with corresponding
849	C prototypes defined in C header files.  The C prototypes for assembly
850	functions should use "asmlinkage".
851	
852	You may need to mark your asm statement as volatile, to prevent GCC from
853	removing it if GCC doesn't notice any side effects.  You don't always need to
854	do so, though, and doing so unnecessarily can limit optimization.
855	
856	When writing a single inline assembly statement containing multiple
857	instructions, put each instruction on a separate line in a separate quoted
858	string, and end each string except the last with \n\t to properly indent the
859	next instruction in the assembly output:
860	
861		asm ("magic %reg1, #42\n\t"
862		     "more_magic %reg2, %reg3"
863		     : /* outputs */ : /* inputs */ : /* clobbers */);
864	
865	
866			Chapter 20: Conditional Compilation
867	
868	Wherever possible, don't use preprocessor conditionals (#if, #ifdef) in .c
869	files; doing so makes code harder to read and logic harder to follow.  Instead,
870	use such conditionals in a header file defining functions for use in those .c
871	files, providing no-op stub versions in the #else case, and then call those
872	functions unconditionally from .c files.  The compiler will avoid generating
873	any code for the stub calls, producing identical results, but the logic will
874	remain easy to follow.
875	
876	Prefer to compile out entire functions, rather than portions of functions or
877	portions of expressions.  Rather than putting an ifdef in an expression, factor
878	out part or all of the expression into a separate helper function and apply the
879	conditional to that function.
880	
881	If you have a function or variable which may potentially go unused in a
882	particular configuration, and the compiler would warn about its definition
883	going unused, mark the definition as __maybe_unused rather than wrapping it in
884	a preprocessor conditional.  (However, if a function or variable *always* goes
885	unused, delete it.)
886	
887	Within code, where possible, use the IS_ENABLED macro to convert a Kconfig
888	symbol into a C boolean expression, and use it in a normal C conditional:
889	
890		if (IS_ENABLED(CONFIG_SOMETHING)) {
891			...
892		}
893	
894	The compiler will constant-fold the conditional away, and include or exclude
895	the block of code just as with an #ifdef, so this will not add any runtime
896	overhead.  However, this approach still allows the C compiler to see the code
897	inside the block, and check it for correctness (syntax, types, symbol
898	references, etc).  Thus, you still have to use an #ifdef if the code inside the
899	block references symbols that will not exist if the condition is not met.
900	
901	At the end of any non-trivial #if or #ifdef block (more than a few lines),
902	place a comment after the #endif on the same line, noting the conditional
903	expression used.  For instance:
904	
905	#ifdef CONFIG_SOMETHING
906	...
907	#endif /* CONFIG_SOMETHING */
908	
909	
910			Appendix I: References
911	
912	The C Programming Language, Second Edition
913	by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie.
914	Prentice Hall, Inc., 1988.
915	ISBN 0-13-110362-8 (paperback), 0-13-110370-9 (hardback).
916	URL: http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cbook/
917	
918	The Practice of Programming
919	by Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike.
920	Addison-Wesley, Inc., 1999.
921	ISBN 0-201-61586-X.
922	URL: http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/tpop/
923	
924	GNU manuals - where in compliance with K&R and this text - for cpp, gcc,
925	gcc internals and indent, all available from http://www.gnu.org/manual/
926	
927	WG14 is the international standardization working group for the programming
928	language C, URL: http://www.open-std.org/JTC1/SC22/WG14/
929	
930	Kernel CodingStyle, by greg@kroah.com at OLS 2002:
931	http://www.kroah.com/linux/talks/ols_2002_kernel_codingstyle_talk/html/
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