Re: [RFC PATCH v2 07/16] gpio: Add support for unified device properties interface

From: Arnd Bergmann
Date: Fri Sep 26 2014 - 04:36:53 EST

On Thursday 25 September 2014 20:21:32 Darren Hart wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 11:12:36AM +0200, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> > How would you feel about a more general way of probing LED, using
> > a new helper in the leds-core that iterates over the child nodes
> > and parses the standard properties but calls into a driver specific
> > callback to parse the specific properties?
> > It's probably much more work than your current approach, but it seems
> > to me that there is more to gain by solving the problem for LED
> > drivers in particular to cut down the per-driver duplication
> > at the same time as the per-firmware-interface duplication.
> >
> > As a start, we could probably take the proposed device_for_each_child_node
> > and move that into the leds-core, changing the fw_dev_node argument
> > for an led_classdev with the addition of the of_node and acpi_object
> > members. It would still leave it up to the gpio-leds driver to do
> >
> > if (led_cdev->of_node)
> > gpiod = devm_of_get_gpiod(led_cdev->of_node, ...);
> > else
> > gpiod = devm_acpi_get_gpiod(led_cdev->acpi_object, ...);
> So as Mika has pointed out, LEDs aren't the only ones affected. Several drivers
> will need to walk through non-device child nodes, and it seems to me that having
> a firmware-independent mechanism to do so benefits the drivers by both making
> them smaller and by increasing the reusability of new drivers and drivers
> updated to use the new API across platforms.
> I fear we might be entering bike shed territory as we seem to be repeating
> points now. Can you restate your concern with the interface and why this level
> of abstraction is worse for the kernel? I'm not seeing this point, so I'm not
> sure what to address in my response.

I think we should have abstractions for all common interfaces but make
them as simple as possible. In the discussions at the kernel summit,
everyone agreed that we should have common accessors for simple properties
(bool, int, string, ...) based on device pointers, as well as subsystem
specific accessors to handle the high-level abstractions (registers,
interrupts, gpio, regulator, pinctrl, dma, reset, pwm, ...).

Having generalized accessors for the same properties in child nodes of
the device goes beyond that, and I think this is the wrong trade-off
between interface simplicity and generality since only few drivers will
be able to use those. I think we will always have to live with a leaky
abstraction because some drivers need to do things beyond what we can
do with a common API.

> Grant, Linus W? Thoughts?

I definitely want to hear other voices on this too. This is really not
a fundamental debate I think, but more a question of how far the abstraction
should go.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at