Re: [PATCH nft 3/3,v2] netlink_linearize: skip set element expression in map statement key

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On Wed, Sep 27, 2023 at 03:09:53PM +0200, Phil Sutter wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 27, 2023 at 01:19:31PM +0200, Pablo Neira Ayuso wrote:
> > Hi Phil,
> > 
> > On Wed, Sep 27, 2023 at 01:10:09PM +0200, Phil Sutter wrote:
> > > Hi Pablo,
> > > 
> > > On Wed, Sep 27, 2023 at 10:42:36AM +0200, Pablo Neira Ayuso wrote:
> > > [...]
> > > > Did you ever follow up on your pull request for libjansson or did you
> > > > find a way to dynamically allocate the error reporting area that they
> > > > complain about?
> > > 
> > > All done. When there were no technical reasons left to reject it, I was
> > > told it's not important enough[1].
> > 
> > Concern seems to be related to extra memory consumption.
> > 
> > Would it be possible to revisit your patchset so the extra memory
> > consumption for error reporting only happens if some flag is toggle to
> > request this? Some sort of opt-in mechanism. Would that be feasible?
> You mean eliminate the 'location' pointer field from json_*_t structs?
> Because apart from that, the whole thing is already opt-in based on
> > > > Error reporting with libjansson is very rudimentary, there is no way
> > > > to tell what precisely in the command that is represented in JSON is
> > > > actually causing the error, this coarse grain error reporting is too
> > > > broad.
> > > 
> > > Indeed, and my implementation would integrate nicely with nftables'
> > > erecs.
> > 
> > Yes, I like that.
> > 
> > > I actually considered forking the project. Or we just ship a copy of the
> > > lib with nftables sources?
> > 
> > I would try to get back to them to refresh and retry.
> Oh well. I'll try an approach which eliminates the pointer if not
> enabled. The terse feedback and pessimistic replies right from the start
> convinced me though they just don't want it.

OK, so I had a close look at the code and played a bit with pahole. My
approach to avoiding the extra pointer is to add another set of types
which json_t embed. So taking json_array_t as an example:

| typedef struct {
|     json_t json;
|     size_t size;
|     size_t entries;
|     json_t **table;
| } json_array_t;

I could introduce json_location_array_t:

| typedef struct {
|     json_array_t array;
|     json_location_t *location;
| } json_location_array_t;

The above structs are opaque to users, they only know about json_t. So I
introduced a getter for the location data:

| int json_get_location(json_t *json, int *line, int *column,
|                       int *position, int *length);

In there, I have to map from json_t to the type in question. The problem
is to know whether I have a json_location_array_t or just a
json_array_t. The json_t may have been allocated by the input parser
with either JSON_STORE_LOCATION set or not or by json_array(). In order
to make the decision, I need at least a bit in well-known memory. Pahole
tells there's a 4byte hole in json_t, but it may be gone in 32bit builds
(and enlarging json_t is a no-go, they consider it ABI). The json_*_t
structures don't show any holes, and extending them means adding a
mandatory word due to buffering, so I may just as well store the
location pointer itself in them.

The only feasible alternative is to store location data separate from
the objects themselves, ideally in a hash table. This reduces the
overhead if not used by a failing hash table lookup in json_delete().

Cheers, Phil

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