Re: [Ksummit-2013-discuss] DT bindings as ABI [was: Do we havepeople interested in device tree janitoring / cleanup?]

From: Jason Cooper
Date: Fri Jul 26 2013 - 09:46:30 EST

On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 02:38:02PM +0100, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 09:27:09AM -0400, Jason Cooper wrote:
> > On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 03:09:29PM +0200, Richard Cochran wrote:
> > > Unless I totally misunderstood, the thread is talking about letting
> > > established bindings change with each new kernel version. I am
> > > opposed to that.
> > >
> > > Of course, a user may want to change the values of his MAC addresses,
> > > if he needs to. But he should never have to change *how* he specifies
> > > those addresses.
> >
> > The other dynamic change that bears mentioning here is attributes which
> > have been configured by the bootloader. For example, in mvebu, we have
> > the Schrodinger's Cat register. It allows you to reconfigure the base
> > address of the registers from *within* that register range. If the
> > bootloader does this, the DT needs to be updated to reflect the current
> > hardware configuration. Otherwise, the kernel is stuck poking around at
> > memory addresses hoping to find something sane.
> >
> > But this falls into the same category as you mentioned, but outside of
> > chosen {};.
> No, this falls within the remit of "describing the hardware" and it is
> certainly something that is free to change.

We agree, I was just highlighting that attributes outside of chosen can
and need to be rewritten by the bootloader.

> What should not "change" once a kernel is the method by which hardware is
> described in DT. "change" there in the sense that how it was described by
> kernel 3.X should still be accepted by 3.X+n, even if 3.X+n comes up with
> a much better way to describe it.
> The actual data associated with those descriptions is free to change in
> whatever way is necessary if the hardware itself changes due to things
> being programmed differently.
> Think of it as the difference between the design of an interface, and the
> interface being used. We don't mandate that the write() syscall shall
> always be called for fd=1 with length=5 and bytes "Hello" in the buffer.
> We mandate that the write() syscall shall be passed an integer fd, a
> buffer pointer, and a length and we don't change that ever.
> Think of "a better way to describe it" as introducing the writev() syscall
> to supplement write() so that applications can do writes from scattered
> memory locations. We don't get rid of the write() syscall - we add to
> the ABI that's already there leaving the existing interfaces with exactly
> the same semantics, so that all the existing stuff continues to work as-is.

Yes, the manner in which the bootloader writes the changes should adhere
to the binding. In my example, it shouldn't replace the reg property
with reg-mod. It should just change the addresses to reflect the
current state of the hardware the kernel will see.


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