Re: Logging with a string via %s

Marc Herbert

On 20 May 2019, at 00:20, wrote:

I think %s capability should be dropped from the logger’s format string processing and a separate API added specifically to log a C string, which makes an immediate copy.

Here I totally agree. I think that formatting of strings is such a well known standard that nobody will read the fine print for a logger to see what magic may lie under its hood. I think we should either assert that %s is never used and use some other format instead (i.e. force people to check the doc at least once when they hit an error) or keep %s for in place rendering and add new format for people who want to go faster.
Another thing is that assert is disabled by default so many people may never notice the problem (especially for error paths).

There's a violation of the "Least Astonishment" principle but it's not with the '%s'. The '%s' traditionally refers to the type of the argument only, it says nothing about memory management. I don't think LOG_ASYNC('%s', ...) or LOG(O_NONBLOCK, '%s', ... ) would surprise anyone.

Confusing memory semantics with format specifiers would break not just user expectations but also tools like this: (I found an insane number of bugs with this attribute)
+ other static checkers trying to make C a bit more safe.

BTW the current API is neither "asynchronous" nor "non-blocking" in the usual API meanings.

It's not asynchronous in the usual sense because there's no callback or any other second step to know when the memory can be freed or re-used.

It's not non-blocking because it always succeeds, never asks to retry with EAGAIN/EWOULDBLOCK etc.

It's a "globals-only", "UFO" API like nothing else.

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