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SubjectRe: [linux-pm] [PATCH 0/8] Suspend block api (version 8)
On Wed, 26 May 2010 14:16:12 +0100
Alan Cox <> wrote:

> > Really, what are you getting at? Do you deny that there are programs,
> > that prevent a device from sleeping? (Just think of the bouncing
> > cows app)
> >
> > And if you have two kernels, one with which your device is dead after 1
> > hour and one with which your device is dead after 10 hours. Which would
> > you prefer? I mean really... this is ridiculous.
> The problem you have is that this is policy. If I have the device wired
> to a big screen and I want cows bouncing on it I'll be most upset if
> instead it suspends. What you are essentially arguing for is for the
> kernel to disobey the userspace. It's as ridiculous (albeit usually less
> damaging) as a file system saying "Ooh thats a rude file name, the app
> can't have meant it, I'll put your document soemwhere else"
> The whole API feels wrong to me. It's breaking rule #1 of technology "You
> cannot solve a social problem with technology". In this case you have a
> social/economic problem which is crap code. You solve it with an
> economics solution - creative incentives not to produce crap code like
> boxes that keep popping up saying "App XYZ is using all your battery" and
> red-amber-green powermeter scores in app stores.

I'm not saying that your argument is not valid. But why don't you look
at suspend blockers as a contract between userspace and kernelspace? An
Opt-In to the current guarantees the kernel provides in the non-suspend

<<If you want to use the rare resource "power" you have to take a
suspend blocker. By this you assert that you are a well written
application. If you are not well written, you will get the worst of our
red-amber-green powermeter scores we have.>>

On the other hand, applications can say, they don't need that much
power and userspace guaranties and not take a suspend blocker.

This is an option which they currently don't have.

I don't think opportunistic suspend is a policy decision by the kernel.
it is something new. Something which currently only the android
userspace implements / supports. If you don't want to suspend while
looking at the bouncing-cow, you have to take a suspend blocker and
make yourself a user-visible power-eater, or don't do

echo "opportunistic" > /sys/power/policy

in the first place.

This "optionally being badly written, who cares?" is a new feature the
kernel can provide to applications.

That said, your proposed alternative implementation scheme looks like
another possible approach.

> That said if you want technical mitigation I think it makes more sense
> if you look at it from a different starting point. The starting point
> being this: We have idling logic in the kernel and improving this helps
> everyone. What is needed to improve the existing logic ?
> - You don't know which processes should be ignored for the purpose of
> suspend (except for kernel threads) and there is no way to set this
> - You don't know whether a move from a deep idle to a 'suspend' (which is
> just a really deep idle in truth anyway) might break wakeups
> requirements because a device has wake dependencies due to hardware
> design (eg a port that has no electronics to kick the box out of
> suspend into running). This is a problem we have already. [1]
> That maps onto two existing ideas
> Sandboxing/Resource Limits: handling apps that can't be trusted. So the
> phone runs the appstore code via something like
> setpidle(getpid(), something);
> exec()
> where 'something' is a value with meaning to both user space and to the
> existing idling logic in the kernel that basically says to what extent it
> is permitted to block idling/suspend. That also seems to tie into some of
> the realtime + idle problems. This I think deals with Kevin Hillman's
> thoughts on dealing with untrustworthy app code more cleanly and avoids
> the need for userspace hackery like the blocker API.
> And an entirely in kernel API where device drivers can indicate that in
> their current situation they require that the power level doesn't drop
> below some limit unless user requested. This is really important because
> the platform vendor of the phone/pda/tablet whatever effectively owns the
> kernel - so it's *their* problem, *their* control, *their* hardware and
> they can make it work as best for the device. Best of all it means its
> all free software stuff so if the vendor screws up you can still fix your
> phone.
> Implementation-wise it probably ties into setpidle, its simply that a task
> has a pair of idle values, a dynamic one and a base one, the dynamic one
> being the base one but updatable temporarily by drivers.
> Alan

How does this address the loss of wakeup events while using suspend?
(For example the 2 issues formulated by Alan Stern in [1])



dmk@schatten /usr/src/linux $ grep -r "setpidle" .
dmk@schatten /usr/src/linux $

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