[zeromq-dev] ZeroMQ 4.2 release, planning

Luca Boccassi luca.boccassi at gmail.com
Fri Aug 26 12:33:16 CEST 2016

I've given some more thoughts and testing to the alignment issue. I can
reproduce the problem by enabling alignment checks on x86 too.

But most importantly, I think we cannot get away from bumping the ABI
with this fix, however we rearrange it, simply because applications need
to be rebuilt against the new header to be fixed. A simple rebuild of
the libzmq.so is not enough. And the way to do this is to bump the ABI
so that distros can schedule transitions and rebuilds and so on.

So the choice list is now restricted to:

1) Bump ABI
2) Revert the fix and leave everything broken on sparc64 and some
aarch64 (rpi3 seems not to be affected, must depend on the SoC flavour)

If we go with 2, we might as well get 2 birds with one stone and bump
the zmq_msg_t size to 128 as we have talked about in the past.

Doron, this would help with the new UDP based socket types right?

Pros of bumping msg size:

- we can get rid of the malloc() in the lmsg type case as all the data
will fit


- for the vsm/cmsg type cases (for most architectures anyway) it won't
fit anymore into a single cacheline

Given all this, I'd say we should go for it.


On Sat, 2016-08-13 at 16:59 +0100, Luca Boccassi wrote:
> Hello,
> Trying to give some thoughts again on the libzmq 4.2 release. It's
> really long overdue!
> The main issue from my point of view is this change:
> https://github.com/zeromq/libzmq/commit/d9fb1d36ff2008966af538f722a1f4ab158dbf64
> -typedef struct zmq_msg_t {unsigned char _ [64];} zmq_msg_t;
>  +/* union here ensures correct alignment on architectures that require
> it, e.g.
>  + * SPARC
>  + */
>  +typedef union zmq_msg_t {unsigned char _ [64]; void *p; } zmq_msg_t;
> This is flagged by the common ABI checkers tools as an ABI breakage
> (see: http://abi-laboratory.pro/tracker/timeline/zeromq/ ). And it makes
> sense from this point of view: if some applications on some
> architectures are broken due to wrong alignment, they would need to be
> rebuilt, and the way to ensure that is to bump the ABI "current" digit
> to make sure maintainers do a rebuild.
> On the other hand, signaling an ABI breakage is a pain, and a cause of
> major churn for packagers and maintainers. It means for example a new
> package has to be created (eg: libzmq5 -> libzmq6), and a transition has
> to be started and all reverse dependencies need to be rebuilt. And if
> this is pointless for all save a few corner cases (eg SPARC64 as for
> above) it's all quite frustrating.
> So we have a choice to make before we release 4.2, four possibilities as
> far as I can see:
> 1) Ignore the ABI checkers and get yelled at by maintainers and
> packagers. Also the SPARC64 users will most likely NOT get their bug
> fixed
> 2) Bump ABI revision to 6 and get yelled at by maintainers and packagers
> 3) Revert the above change and postpone it to when we have a more
> generally useful reason to break ABI (bump zmq_msg_t from 64 to 128
> bytes for example, Doron?)
> 4) Try to be clever and revert the above change and use something like
> #pragma pack(8). This will fool the ABI checkers (I tried it), and given
> that typedef is only used externally to allocate the right size it
> shouldn't actually affect anything, apart from the users of SPARC64
> which should get the bugfix with this too. This is very sneaky :-)
> CC'ing Lazslo, the Debian maintainer, given what we choose to do might
> result in a lot of work for him :-)
> Opinions?
> Kind regards,
> Luca Boccassi
> On Tue, 2016-05-03 at 10:39 +0200, Pieter Hintjens wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > 
> > I'm just throwing some ideas on the table. We have a good package of
> > work on master and it's probably time to make a 4.2 release.
> > 
> > Luca has already back-ported the enable/disable draft design from
> > zproject (CZMQ et al). Yay! So we can now release stable master
> > safely, while continuing to refine and extend the draft API sections.
> > 
> > I propose:
> > 
> > - to end with the stable fork policy; this was needed years ago when
> > we had massively unstable masters. It's no longer a problem.
> > - to use the github release function for libzmq releases and deprecate
> > the separate delivery of tarballs.
> > - we aim to make a 4.2.0 rc asap, then fix any issues we get, with
> > patch releases as usual.
> > - we backport the release function to older maintained releases (4.1,
> > 3.2) so that their tarballs are provided by github instead of
> > downloads.zeromq.org.
> > 
> > Problems:
> > 
> > - this will break a few things that depend on downloads.zeromq.org. To
> > be fixed as we go.
> > - github tarballs are not identical to source tarballs, particularly
> > they lack `configure`. I propose changing our autotools build
> > instructions so they always start with `./autogen,sh` no matter where
> > the sources come from.
> > 
> > I think this will work and also let us gracefully deprecate/switch off
> > the downloads box.
> > 
> > -Pieter
> > _______________________________________________
> > zeromq-dev mailing list
> > zeromq-dev at lists.zeromq.org
> > http://lists.zeromq.org/mailman/listinfo/zeromq-dev

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