On Sun, 2020-11-22 at 21:35 +0100, Miguel Ojeda wrote:
On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 7:22 PM James Bottomley James.Bottomley@hansenpartnership.com wrote:
Well, it's a problem in an error leg, sure, but it's not a really compelling reason for a 141 patch series, is it? All that fixing this error will do is get the driver to print "oh dear there's a problem" under four more conditions than it previously did.
We've been at this for three years now with nearly a thousand patches, firstly marking all the fall throughs with /* fall through */ and later changing it to fallthrough. At some point we do have to ask if the effort is commensurate with the protection afforded. Please tell me our reward for all this effort isn't a single missing error print.
It isn't that much effort, isn't it?
Well, it seems to be three years of someone's time plus the maintainer review time and series disruption of nearly a thousand patches. Let's be conservative and assume the producer worked about 30% on the series and it takes about 5-10 minutes per patch to review, merge and for others to rework existing series. So let's say it's cost a person year of a relatively junior engineer producing the patches and say 100h of review and application time. The latter is likely the big ticket item because it's what we have in least supply in the kernel (even though it's 20x vs the producer time).
Plus we need to take into account the future mistakes that it might prevent, too. So even if there were zero problems found so far, it is still a positive change.
Well, the question I was asking is if it's worth the cost which I've tried to outline above.
I would agree if these changes were high risk, though; but they are almost trivial.
It's not about the risk of the changes it's about the cost of implementing them. Even if you discount the producer time (which someone gets to pay for, and if I were the engineering manager, I'd be unhappy about), the review/merge/rework time is pretty significant in exchange for six minor bug fixes. Fine, when a new compiler warning comes along it's certainly reasonable to see if we can benefit from it and the fact that the compiler people think it's worthwhile is enough evidence to assume this initially. But at some point you have to ask whether that assumption is supported by the evidence we've accumulated over the time we've been using it. And if the evidence doesn't support it perhaps it is time to stop the experiment.