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SubjectRe: [PATCH v10 2/2] tty/serial: Add Spreadtrum sc9836-uart driver support
On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 04:05:53PM +0000, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:49:34AM -0500, Peter Hurley wrote:
> > Hi Varka,
> >
> > On 01/29/2015 10:26 AM, Varka Bhadram wrote:
> > > This check is not required. It will be done by devm_ioremap_resource()
> >
> > I disagree. devm_ioremap_resource() interprets the NULL resource as
> > a bad parameter and returns -EINVAL which is then forwarded as the
> > return value from the probe.
> >
> > -ENODEV is the correct return value from the probe if the expected
> > resource is not available (either because it doesn't exist or was already
> > claimed by another driver).
> (Adding Thierry as the author of this function.)
> I believe devm_ioremap_resource() was explicitly designed to remove such
> error handling from drivers, and to give drivers a unified error response
> to such things as missing resources.
> See the comments for this function in lib/devres.c.

Right. Before the introduction of this function drivers would copy the
same boilerplate but would use completely inconsistent return codes.
Well, to be correct devm_request_and_ioremap() was introduced first to
reduce the boilerplate, but one of the problems was that it returned a
NULL pointer on failure, so it was impossible to distinguish between
specific error conditions. It also had the negative side-effect of not
giving drivers any directions on what to do with the NULL return value
other than the example in the kerneldoc. But most people just didn't
seem to look at that, so instead of using -EADDRNOTAVAIL they'd again
go and do completely inconsistent things everywhere.

When we introduced devm_ioremap_resource(), the idea was to remove any
of these inconsistencies once and for all. You call the function and if
it fails you simply propagate the error code, so you get consistent
behaviour everywhere.

If I remember correctly the error codes for the various conditions were
discussed quite extensively, and what we currently have is what we got
by concensus.

-ENODEV is certainly not the correct return value if a resource is not
available. It translates to "no such device", but the device must
clearly be there, otherwise the ->probe() shouldn't have been called.
Or if it really isn't there, then you'd at least need a memory region
to probe, otherwise you can't determine whether it's there or not. So
from the perspective of a device driver I think a missing, or NULL,
resource, is indeed an "invalid argument".

I understand that people might see some ambiguity there, and -EINVAL is
certainly not a very accurate description, but such is the nature of
error codes. You pick what fits best. -ENXIO and -EADDRNOTAVAIL had been
under discussion as well if I remember correctly, but they both equally
ambiguous. -ENODATA might have been a better fit, but that too has a
different meaning in other contexts.

Besides, there's an error message that goes along with the error code
return, that should remove any ambiguity for people looking at dmesg.

All of that said, the original assertion that the check is not required
is still valid. We can argue at length about the specific error code but
if we decide that it needs to change, then we should modify
devm_ioremap_resource() rather than requiring all callers to perform the
extra check again.

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