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SubjectRe: [PATCH] bnx2 - use request_firmware()
On Mon, 7 Jul 2008, Alan Cox wrote:

>> Who in the world is going to actually want request_firmware() to find
>> a firmware image other than the one which has been properly tested
>> together with the driver by the driver maintainer?
>
> That misses the point, intentionally I am sure. In the majority of cases
> the firmware doesn't change between releases so shipping a billion copies
> of is a pain in the butt.
>
>> What "use case" is there other than the desire to seperate out the
>> firmware in order to skirt the legal issues?
>
> Not shipping lots of copies
> Not leaving crap locked in kernel memory when it isn't needed
> Letting vendors issue firmware updates (which especially in enterprise
> space is a big issue and right now gets messy with compiled in firmware)
>
>> I think it is, in fact, the driver maintainer's perogative of whether
>> they want request_firmware() to be supported by their driver or not.
>> It is they who have to deal with any possible fallout.
>
> And their users and the distributors for whom it can cause enormous pain.
>
> If the two are closely tied then it makes a lot of sense to keep them
> tied, but that doesn't mean wasting a ton of kernel memory and bandwidth
> and disk space in the process. Loading the firmware and insisting on a
> specific version is quite civilised for a driver with such a tie.

so make the firmware part of the module if the driver is compiled as a
module. this way if the driver (and firmware) end up not being used they
don't take up any space. this seems a lot simpler (as well as more
reliable) then adding a mandatory dependancy on a different userspace
tool.

David Lang

> (of course we had this argument over ten years ago about modules when
> various authors couldn't be bothered to modularise their driver which
> caused endless pain to the distributions and end users. Remember the
> sound driver situation in early Red Hat. Mind you it got me a job there
> fixing it ;))
>
> Driver authors aren't God. There are other important considerations, but
> for tg3 if that means 'wrong MD5sum, no load' then fine.
>
>
> Alan
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