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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/1, v2] usb-use-kfifo-to-buffer-usb-generic-serial-writes.patch
On Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 03:07:10PM +0200, Oliver Neukum wrote:
> Am Donnerstag, 27. August 2009 19:22:18 schrieb David VomLehn:
> > On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 10:14:53AM +0200, Oliver Neukum wrote:
> > > > + /* send the data out the bulk port */
> > > > + result = usb_submit_urb(port->write_urb, GFP_ATOMIC);
> > > > + if (result) {
> > > > + dev_err(&port->dev,
> > > > + "%s - failed submitting write urb, error %d\n",
> > > > + __func__, result);
> > > > + /* don't have to grab the lock here, as we will
> > > > + retry if != 0 */
> > > > + port->write_urb_busy = 0;
> > > > + status = result;
> > >
> > > This looks deficient. If the first part of a transmission fails,
> > > the fifo's remaining content should be discarded and if possible
> > > an error returned to user space.
> >
> > I thought about that, and perhaps I don't know enough about about USB
> > failure modes, but it's not really clear to me that the FIFO's contents
> > should be tossed. The pro argument is that losing more data may make it
> > clearer that an error occurred, but the con is that this may be a transient
> > error and why should we discard perfectly good data? I'm definitely open to
> > discussion on this.
>
> You may be writing a command. If you clip out a sequence in the middle you
> might be sending an altered command without telling user space.

Serial output does not provide a reliable delivery mechanism. If you flip a bit
in the sending UART, you may also send an altered command without telling user
space. Still, having had some time to think about it, I think discarding the
rest of the data is at least as reasonable as anything else.

It seems propagating errors back to user space appears somewhat problematic,
but this is true independent of whether a FIFO is used.

> > > [..]
> > >
> > > > @@ -487,8 +515,8 @@ void usb_serial_generic_write_bulk_callback(struct
> > > > urb *urb) port->urbs_in_flight = 0;
> > > > spin_unlock_irqrestore(&port->lock, flags);
> > > > } else {
> > > > - /* Handle the case for single urb mode */
> > > > port->write_urb_busy = 0;
> > > > + usb_serial_generic_write_start(port, 0);
> > >
> > > This is a problem. This may fail due to a system suspend.
> > > In that case you cannot depend on the next write restarting
> > > IO. You need to restart IO in resume()
> >
> > It's not so clear that this is a problem. Serial output is not idempotent
> > the way disk output is; you trade the risk of dropped data for the risk of
> > duplicated data. I have a belief, open to challenge, that users can handle
> > would regard duplicated data as more confusing than dropped data.
>
> How can this duplicate data? If you know that you need to call
> usb_serial_generic_write_start, you also know that no further
> transfer will occur. If you don't test and restart on resume, you
> get this scenario:
>
> user space writes to device
> user space waits for answer
>
> kernel transfers 1. buffer
> system suspension - 2. buffer cannot be transfered,
> as usb_serial_generic_write_start gets -EPERM
> system resumption - 2. buffer is never transmitted,
> user space times out and reports an error

Okay, this makes sense. This functionality was also missing in the FIFO-less
version of this file, so it's over and above the original intent of the patch,
but it looks easy enough to do and I'm all in favor of better suspend/resume
support.

>
> > > [..]
> > >
> > > > @@ -96,6 +98,8 @@ struct usb_serial_port {
> > > > unsigned char *bulk_out_buffer;
> > > > int bulk_out_size;
> > > > struct urb *write_urb;
> > > > + struct kfifo *write_fifo;
> > > > + spinlock_t write_fifo_lock;
> > >
> > > Do you really need a separate lock?
> >
> > No. I could, theoretically, grab the BKL, but why hold up anything you
> > don't have to? If someone wants to make an argument based on cacheline
> > thrashing, they could certainly do so, but the data rates being used here
> > are relatively low.
>
> Is there any lock the usb serial subsystem provides you could use?

There is an existing spinlock_t element and it looks like there shouldn't be a
conflict, so, yes, that looks like a good suggestion.

> Oliver

David VL


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