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Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:05:19 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: roadmap for 0.9.8 ?

On Thu, Nov 01, 2012 at 12:37:27AM +0100, John Spencer wrote:
> i was thinking about what will go into the next release...
> open positions that were originally intended to go into 0.9.7 are,
> as taken from the latest "pending for release" mails:
> - dl_iterate_phdr() - looks as if this is currently cooking, and
> possibly an important bit to improve libgcc support,

I'm planning to get this done in the next 48 hours. Will libgcc
automatically use dl_iterate_phdr once it's added, or is there some
hard-coded glibc-specific logic we need to check in the -linux-musl
target patches for gcc?

> - explicit mips soft-float abi support (mainly for use with broken
>    openwrt kernels) ,

Mainly this requires a discussion of whether it should go in the build
system (sub-archs/abis) or just at the source level somewhere.

> - wordexp ?

It's no hurry since this is a crap interface nobody uses anyway, but I
would like to update it to use vfork, possibly by making it use
posix_spawn rather than duplicating the functionality. I would use
popen, which in many ways seems like the more natural choice, but that
requires transforming the argument into an appropriate escaped form
and allocating a temporary string for it.

Speaking of that, right now all uses of vfork are rather expensive
because we have to loop and check each signal to check that it doesn't
have a handler set. I'd like to make a global atomic bit array in
sigaction.c to store the set of signals which have ever had their
disposition set to a signal handling function. Then it would be easy
to loop over just that set when resetting, and in fact the resetting
code could be shared between different places that need it
(posix_spawn, system, popen, wordexp).

> - subarchs in build system (e.g. mips-softfloat, arm-hardfloat, etc.),

Yes, this mainly requires some thinking (or experimenting) to see what
the real requirements are.

> - nsz' suggested math improvements ?
> additionally, i think it'd make sense to add stubs for the missing
> optional schedule functions (as most of them are already there),
> that way we could build some exotic programs like "fluidsynth"
> without patches, and further increase the pkgsrc success rate:

Hopefully we can just add real versions of them. A good half of the
effort of doing these is going to be just checking that we get all the
files added right, so from that standpoint we might as well just do it
all in one step rather than having to go back and make sure we get
everything right later when we fill them out. I don't think there are
any more spinlocks or other things that would make problems in
priority-enabled applications.

> - ppc port ?

Yes. Is anybody else up for doing the work integrating it, or should
I plan to do it myself? It'd be really nice to have somebody familiar
enough with the porting procedure to handle ports integration.

> is there something else i missed, and what are your plans ?

Yeah, I was pretty tired when I pushed the last release out; that's
why it wasn't accompanied by a development direction paragraph.

One thing that comes to mind is updating the wiki and keeping it
relevant. Most of the FAQ items are obsolete now.

Perhaps something to address soon is the missing 'm' modifier in scanf
(POSIX extension for malloc'ing strings rather than using
caller-provided buffers).

An internal task I want to work on is removing most/all of the
#include directives from stdio_impl.h. I think this would improve
compile time noticably. But it will not add any functionality, of

We could also work on more C11 features, like <uchar.h> or C11
threads. C11 threads should just be a matter of making namespace-clean
aliases for the pthread functions and wrapping those with thrd_*
names. However, for the enums we might need to wait for glibc folks to
assign values.

I know you want some fixes/improvements in configure.

Aside from that, I'd like this release cycle to be much shorter. The
changes we're looking at are a lot less invasive (compared to TLS) so
I'll feel comfortable releasing sooner rather than sitting around
waiting for bugs to pop up like the last release cycle.

> besides of musl itself, i think it would be a nice achievement if we
> could get the microblaze toolchain patches integrated in the
> upstream repos (or at least patches against current gcc/binutils
> trees), so that we distro-builders dont need to special-case for
> microblaze.

Yes, I would like that very much. Have you looked into it at all?
According to Steve Bennett on the microblaze-linux list, David
Holsgrove is working on getting microblaze support upstreamed in
crosstool-ng. He's also employed by Xilinx. He would probably be the
person to contact about this, and I think it would be very nice for
him to be aware of musl as a development tool for microblaze
(especially since they currently seem to be lacking in tools that are
appropriately-sized for the sort of applications microblaze sounds
most useful in).

Another side project might be support for C11 Annex K. It's under
discussion on the glibc list right now. I'm not sure whether they'll
end up having it as an external library or built-in, but we might end
up needing to go the same way for binary-compat. My leaning is an
external library that's libc-agnostic, but it sounds like they want
tighter libc feature integration, so we might need to have a forked
(or rewritten) portable version that would work with musl even if it
is external. I consider this rather low priority since nobody is using
annex K (these are the ugly MS _s functions), but on the other hand
it's something somebody could do on the side as a learning exercise
(and useful task at the same time) without having to understand any
libc internals.


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