R – Can this kernel function be more readable? (Ideas needed for an academic research!)


Following my previous question regarding the rationale behind extremely long functions, I would like to present a specific question regarding a piece of code I am studying for my research. It's a function from the Linux Kernel which is quite long (412 lines) and complicated (an MCC index of 133). Basically, it's a long and nested switch statement

Frankly, I can't think of any way to improve this mess. A dispatch table seems both huge and inefficient, and any subroutine call would require an inconceivable number of arguments in order to cover a large-enough segment of code.

Do you think of any way this function can be rewritten in a more readable way, without losing efficiency? If not, does the code seem readable to you?

Needless to say, any answer that will appear in my research will be given full credit – both here and in the submitted paper.

Link to the function in an online source browser

Best Solution

Utterly horrible, IMHO. The obvious first-order fix is to make each case in the switch a call to a function. And before anyone starts mumbling about efficiency, let me just say one word - "inlining".

Edit: Is this code part of the Linux FPU emulator by any chance? If so this is very old code that was a hack to get linux to work on Intel chips like the 386 which didn't have an FPU. If it is, it's probably not a suitable study for academics, except for historians!

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