Re: spi: OF module autoloading is still broken (was: Re: m25p80: Commit "allow arbitrary OF matching for "jedec,spi-nor"" breaks module autoloading)

From: Brian Norris
Date: Fri Nov 13 2015 - 18:49:06 EST


On Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 11:14:10PM +0000, Mark Brown wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 02:51:13PM -0800, Brian Norris wrote:
> > General problem:
> > ================
> > The SPI core doesn't use the OF compatible property for generating
> > uevent/modalias, and therefore can't autoload modules based on the full
> > compatible property of a device. It *only* can use the 'modalias', which
> > is a castrated version of the compatible property -- it only includes
> > part of the 1st entry in 'compatible'.
> > This forces SPI device drivers to use spi_device_id tables even when
> > they might be better suited for of_match_tables.
> Well, I don't actually see this as that bad a thing - it's good practice
> to include the Linux ID tables even if you also support DT since not all
> the world is DT.

I suppose so, but that's still not the whole story.

(I believe I avoided this in the first place for mostly-aesthetic
reasons; technically this allows people to put garbage in their DT, like
"garbage,spi-nor". It's unclear whether "garbage" becomes part of the
mythical DT ABI [1].)

> > Specifics for m25p80:
> > =====================
> > We support many flash devices and have traditionally been doing so by
> > simply adding more entries to the spi_device_id table. Recently, we have
> > tried to get away from adding new entries and aliases for every single
> > variation by instead supporting a common OF match: "jedec,spi-nor". So
> > we might expect to see nodes like this:
> > flash@xxx {
> > compatible = "vendor,shiny-new-device", "jedec,spi-nor";
> > ...
> > };
> > We may or may not add "shiny-new-device" to the spi_device_id array. But
> > "jedec,spi-nor" should be sufficient to load the driver and check if the
> > READ ID string matches any known flash. If "shiny-new-device" isn't in
> > the spi_device_id array, then we don't get module autoloading.
> OK, so you're trying to do dynamic enumeration? Then you don't want
> specific things in any of the ID tables since you'll match it yourself
> at runtime (which is obviously good).

Well, we do have to support existing cases (e.g., existing device trees
without "jedec,spi-nor") so we have to keep some around. But otherwise,
mostly yes.

> > There's also the case of omitting "vendor,shiny-new-device" entirely,
> > which is probably a little more dangerous, but still legal (and also
> > won't autoload modules):
> > flash@xxx {
> > compatible = "jedec,spi-nor";
> > ...
> > };
> My immediate thought is that I'd expect to see spi-nor and (based on a
> quick scan of the m25p80 driver) nor-jedec to appear in the spi_device_id
> table since regardless of what happens with Javier's patch we want the
> autoprobing mechanism to work for board file based platforms too
> (there's a bunch of architectures that still use them). That'd also
> have the side effect of solving your immediate problem I think?

No "nor-jedec" -- that was an intermediate name that got replaced
mid-release-cycle due to some late DT review comments.

But yes, I suppose adding "spi-nor" back to the spi_device_id table
fixes *one* of the immediate problems (i.e., 'compatible =
"jedec,spi-nor"'). That would cover Heiner's report. But it doesn't

compatible = "vendor,shiny-new-device", "jedec,spi-nor"

I believe that the latter is sometimes the Right Way (TM) to do things
for device tree, so you have a fallback if auto-probing "jedec,spi-nor"
ever doesn't suffice.

(This came up in Heiner's original post: "In case of m25p80 this means
that "jedec,spi-nor" has to be the first "compatible" value. This
constraint might be too strict ..")

> [Snip example with three different prefixes for m25p80 in compatible
> strings]
> > All three are supported by SPI's current modalias code, and so are part
> > of the ABI. Thus, m25p80.c will always contain both a spi_device_id
> > table and an of_match_table. But I think Javier's patch would break
> > these three cases.
> Right, IIRC I think that sort of thing was what I was looking for in
> documentation for his patch. Now you mention it I'm not sure we can do
> wildcarding with DT which is a bit unfortunate for cases like this.

Yeah, I expect wildcards are a no-go.

> Hrm. Not sure and it's getting late on a Friday night...


I suspect we'll have to fully support both spi_device_id tables (fully
supported already; if nothing else, to keep wildcard matching) and
of_match_tables (not fully supported for module loading), and in some
cases, the two will have to stay partially in sync.


[1] "Device Tree as a stable ABI: a fairy tale?"
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