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SubjectRe: [GIT PULL] omap changes for v2.6.39 merge window
2011/4/1 Arnd Bergmann <>:
> On Friday 01 April 2011, Ingo Molnar wrote:
>> IMO the right answer is what Linus and Thomas outlined:
>>    1) provide a small number of clean examples and clean abstractions
>>    2) to not pull new crap from that point on
>>    3) do this gradually but consistently
>> I.e. make all your requirements technical and actionable - avoid sweeping,
>> impossible to meet requirements. Do not require people to clean up all of the
>> existing mess straight away (they cannot realistically do it), do not summarily
>> block the flow of patches, but be firm about drawing a line in the sand and be
>> firm about not introducing new mess in a gradually growing list of well-chosen
>> areas of focus.
>> Rinse, repeat.
> I believe getting to point 1 is the hard part here. There are a lot of things
> that are wrong with the mach-* (and also plat-*) implementations, and I don't
> think we have one today that can really serve as an example. Most decisions
> made in there made a lot of sense when they were introduced, and declaring
> code that was perfectly acceptable yesterday to be unacceptable crap today
> is not going to be met with much understanding by the someone who just
> wants to add support for one more board to 100 already existing ones in the
> same SoC family.
> I would actually suggest a different much more radical start: Fork the way
> that platforms are managed today, and start an alternative way of setting
> up boards and devices together with the proven ARM core kernel infrastructure,
> based on these observations (please correct me if some of them they don't make
> sense):
> 1. The core arch code is not a problem (Russell does a great job here)
> 2. The platform specific code contains a lot of crap that doesn't belong there
>   (not enough reviewers to push back on crap)
> 3. The amount of crap in platform specfic files is growing exponentially,
>   despite the best efforts of a handful of people to clean it up.
> 4. Having one source file per board does not scale any more.
> 5. Discoverable hardware would solve this, but is not going to happen
>   in practice.
> 6. Board firmware would not solve this and is usually not present.
> 7. Boot loaders can not be trusted to pass valid information
> 8. Device tree blobs can solve a lot of the problems, and nobody has
>   come up with a better solution.

ARM BSP is still blasting! we are planning to merge our new ARM
cortex-a9 SoC into kernel. So I am just wondering whether traditional
ARM BSP way can still be accepted, or we must move to use device tree?
but i have't seen any arm device tree codes enter mainline yet. but we
can get those patches from linaro 2.6.38. So what's the plan for
merging arm device tree?

What i have seen is that the BSP architecture of different ARM SoC
companies is even different.

samsung has three levels:

TI has two levels:

Nvidia has one level:

I didn't find any rule about what codes should be placed in what
directories. Different companies have different ways. It looks like
the only agreement is board files are in mach-xxx. Any suggestions for

BTW, we don't want to "dick around", which Linus has been very angry.
we want to fix more issues this email pointed out before we send

> 9. All interesting work is going into a handful of platforms, all of which
>   are ARMv7 based.
> 10. We do not want to discontinue support for old boards that work fine.
> 11. Massive changes to existing platforms would cause massive breakage.
> 12. Supporting many different boards with a single kernel binary is a
>    useful goal.
> 13. Infrastructure code should be cross-platform, not duplicated across
>    platforms.
> 14. 32 bit ARM is hitting the wall in the next years (Cortex-A15 is
>    actually adding PAE support, which has failed to solve this on
>    other architectures).
> 15. We need to solve the platform problem before 64 bit support comes
>    and adds another dimension to the complexity.
> Based on these assumptions, my preferred strategy would be to a new
> mach-nocrap directory with a documented set of rules (to be adapted when
> necessary):
> * Strictly no crap
>  * No board files
>  * No hardcoded memory maps
>  * No lists of interrupts and GPIOs
> * All infrastructure added must be portable to all ARMv7 based SoCs.
>  (ARMv6 can be added later)
> * 64 bit safe code only.
> * SMP safe code only.
> * All board specific information must come from a device tree and
>  be run-time detected.
> * Must use the same device drivers as existing platforms
> * Should share platform drivers (interrupt controller, gpio, timer, ...)
>  with existing platforms where appropriate.
> * Code quality takes priority over stability in mach-nocrap, but must not
>  break other platforms.
> Until we have something working there, I think we should still generally
> allow new code to the existing platforms, and even new platforms to be
> added, while trying to keep the quality as high as possible but without
> changing the rules for them or doing any major treewide reworks.
> Once the mach-nocrap approach has turned into something usable, we can
> proceed on three fronts:
> 1. delete actively maintained boards from the other platforms once they
>   are no longer needed there
> 2. generalize concepts from mach-nocrap by applying them to all boards,
>   similar to the cleanup work that people have always been doing.
> 3. gradually make the rules for adding new code in other platforms stricter,
>   up to the point where they are bugfix only.
>> If companies do not 'bother to push upstream', then management will eventually
>> notice negative economic consequences:
>> ...
> Good points, I fully agree with these. I also think that the SoC companies
> are actually understanding this nowadays, and that is exactly the reason
> why we see so much code getting pushed in.
>        Arnd
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