Peter Grandi wrote:
Unfortunately that seems the case.
The purpose of barriers is to guarantee that relevant data is
known to be on persistent storage (kind of hardware 'fsync').
In effect write barrier means "tell me when relevant data is on
persistent storage", or less precisely "flush/sync writes now
and tell me when it is done". Properties as to ordering are just
a side effect.
I don't get that sense from the barriers stuff in Documentation, in fact
I think it's essentially a pure ordering thing, I don't even see that it
has an effect of forcing the data to be written to the device, other
than by preventing other writes until the drive writes everything. So we
read the intended use differently.
What really bothers me is that there's no obvious need for barriers at
the device level if the file system is just a bit smarter and does it's
own async io (like aio_*), because you can track writes outstanding on a
per-fd basis, so instead of stopping the flow of data to the drive, you
can just block a file descriptor and wait for the count of outstanding
i/o to drop to zero. That provides the order semantics of barriers as
far as I can see, having tirelessly thought about it for ten minutes or
so. Oh, and did something very similar decades ago in a long-gone
Bill Davidsen <davidsen@xxxxxxx>
"Woe unto the statesman who makes war without a reason that will still
be valid when the war is over..." Otto von Bismark