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SubjectRe: [PATCH v4 14/36] [media] v4l2-mc: add a function to inherit controls from a pipeline
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On 03/17/2017 12:55 PM, Sakari Ailus wrote:
> Hi Russell,
>
> On 03/17/17 13:42, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 08:55:36AM +0100, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>> We're all very driver-development-driven, and userspace gets very little
>>> attention in general. So before just throwing in the towel we should take
>>> a good look at the reasons why there has been little or no development: is
>>> it because of fundamental design defects, or because nobody paid attention
>>> to it?
>>>
>>> I strongly suspect it is the latter.
>>>
>>> In addition, I suspect end-users of these complex devices don't really care
>>> about a plugin: they want full control and won't typically use generic
>>> applications. If they would need support for that, we'd have seen much more
>>> interest. The main reason for having a plugin is to simplify testing and
>>> if this is going to be used on cheap hobbyist devkits.
>>
>> I think you're looking at it with a programmers hat on, not a users hat.
>>
>> Are you really telling me that requiring users to 'su' to root, and then
>> use media-ctl to manually configure the capture device is what most
>> users "want" ?
>
> It depends on who the user is. I don't think anyone is suggesting a
> regular end user is the user of all these APIs: it is either an
> application tailored for that given device, a skilled user with his test
> scripts or as suggested previously, a libv4l plugin knowing the device
> or a generic library geared towards providing best effort service. The
> last one of this list does not exist yet and the second last item
> requires help.
>
> Typically this class of devices is simply not up to provide the level of
> service you're requesting without additional user space control library
> which is responsible for automatic white balance, exposure and focus.
>
> Making use of the full potential of the hardware requires using a more
> expressive interface. That's what the kernel interface must provide. If
> we decide to limit ourselves to a small sub-set of that potential on the
> level of the kernel interface, we have made a wrong decision. It's as
> simple as that. This is why the functionality (and which requires taking
> a lot of policy decisions) belongs to the user space. We cannot have
> multiple drivers providing multiple kernel interfaces for the same hardware.

Right. With my Cisco hat on I can tell you that Cisco would want full low-level
control. If the driver would limit us we would not be able to use it.

Same with anyone who wants to put Android CameraHAL on top of a V4L2 driver:
they would need full control. Some simplified interface would be unacceptable.

>
> That said, I'm not trying to provide an excuse for not having libraries
> available to help the user to configure and control the device more or
> less automatically even in terms of best effort. It's something that
> does require attention, a lot more of it than it has received in recent
> few years.

Right.

Regards,

Hans

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