Re: [PATCH 2/4] of: DT quirks infrastructure

From: Peter Hurley
Date: Fri Feb 20 2015 - 13:10:15 EST

Hi Guenter,

On 02/20/2015 11:47 AM, Guenter Roeck wrote:


> I am open to hearing your suggestions for our use case, where the CPU card with
> the eeprom is manufactured separately from its carier cards.

I think your use case may be more compelling than two flavors of Beaglebone
(one of which is pretty much a dead stick), but it's also less clear what your
design constraints are (not that I really want to know, 'cause I don't).

But the logical extension of this is an N-way dtb that supports unrelated SOCs,
and I think most would agree that's not an acceptable outcome.

My thought was that every design that can afford an EEPROM to probe can afford
a bootloader to select the appropriate dtb, and can afford the extra space
required for multiple dtbs.

I'm not naysaying; I just want to elicit enough information so the community
can make informed decisions.

> I assume you might suggest that manufacturing should (re-)program the EEPROM
> on the CPU card after it was inserted into the carrier.
> Problem is though that the CPU card may be inserted into ts carrier outside
> manufacturing, at the final stages of assembly or in product repair. Those
> groups would typically not even have the means to (re-)program the eeprom.
> Besides, manufacturing would, quite understandably, go ballistic if we demand
> that they start programming EEPROMs after insertion into carrier, and no longer
> use pre-programmed EEPROMs.

I agree; that would be The Wrong Way.

> Note that it is not feasible to put the necessary EEPROM onto the carrier
> either. Maybe in a later design. Maybe that makes sense, and we will go along
> that route at some point. However, forcing a specific hardware solution
> due to software limitations, ie lack of ability by core software to handle
> the different carries, seems to be not the right decision to make on an
> OS level.

Agreed; hardware is what it is.

> In the PCI world it has long since been accepted that the world is not perfect.
> The argument here is pretty much equivalent to demanding that PCI drop its
> quirks mechanism, to force the HW manufacturers to finally get it right from
> the beginning. I somehow suspect that this won't happen.

I was thinking back to the introductions of fast DEVSEL# and AGP :(

> Instead of questioning the need for a mechanism such as the one proposed by
> Pantelis, I think our time would be better spent arguing if it is the right
> mechanism and, if not, how it can be improved.

My thoughts exactly. Apologies if something I wrote came across as
"You Shall Not Pass" :)

One issue seems to be the moving target that is the compelling use case(s).
The initial submission implied it was the Beaglebone, which comes with
4GB eMMC/microSD so naturally the argument for space-savings with DTBs doesn't
fly. That has since been clarified so no need to rehash that.

Peter Hurley
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