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SubjectRe: [Bulk] Re: [patch 2.6.19-rc6] fix hotplug for legacy platform drivers
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> > First, for reference, I refer to hotplugging using the trivial ASH scripts
> > from [1], updated by removing no-longer-needed special cases for platform_bus
> > (that original logic didn't work sometimes) and pcmcia. ...
>
> Ah, so for the platform devices, doing a
> modprobe /sys/devices/platform/*
> would load all of the proper modules for the specific platform devices
> that are already present due to the MODULE_ALIAS() stuff?

That's sort of how that original "coldplug" script worked, but it didn't
work except in some trivial cases. For example, it fails in a common case
when platform_device.id != -1; and for platform devices that are children
of other devices. And of course there's the syntax issue ... only one
module name at a time (so modprobe in a loop).

The MODULE_ALIAS() stuff only kicks in when the driver name isn't the
same as its module name. Normally, developers just stick to one name.


> > That should make it clear how accepting that pushback would break hotplug:
> > "modprobe $MODALIAS" would no longer load the right module. Likewise
> > the more significant case of coldplug; "modprobe $(cat modalias)" would
> > likewise no longer work.
>
> But, I don't understand why a module would have an alias with the same
> name as itself? What is that achieving here? Shouldn't redundancy like
> that be eliminated?

To repeat, I am _not_ the one who has made that proposal. I'm the one
pointing out that all names for a module (aliases vs. what "ls" shows)
should be treated the same ... introducing a new rule about how hotplug
(or coldplug) must only refer to aliases promotes fragility.


> > The $SUBJECT patch makes those legacy drivers NOT use the $MODALIAS
> > mechanism ... you seem to be overlooking that.
>
> No, I'm not overlooking that, I think it's a good thing. I'm just
> wondering if it could be done a different way. Perhaps in the platform
> device itself instead of the driver core code?

Marco was overlooking it.

I thought about moving that bit elsewhere, but three things came to mind:

* Space-wise, there are already unused bits there, so this is free;
but there are no such bits in platform_device.

* Given that this is a "legacy style" issue, not all such driver
code is (or will be) on the platform bus.

* Hey, not all devices and busses support hotplugging, and it'd be
worth having discussion on that. The flag is explicitly about
the _driver_ not supporting hotplug ... a device node creation
problem. When the _device_ is physically not hotpluggable, a
different approach might help rid the kernel of probe()/remove()
infrastructure.

Given those points, I thought this was probably the best place to
put it; at least as an initial proposal.

Another proposal, which I dislike, is just not to have platform_bus
do hotplug (via $MODALIAS). That'd be OK for some current embedded
systems, since the devices get created during board startup and are
not added/removed later, but that's exactly the sort of idiosyncratic
restriction I've observed will invariably cause pain later on. It's
too easy to think of counterexamples, like devices appearing when a
board gets powered up.

- Dave

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