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Gmane
From: Russell King - ARM Linux <linux <at> arm.linux.org.uk>
Subject: Re: Do we have people interested in device tree janitoring / cleanup?
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.ports.arm.kernel
Date: Thursday 25th July 2013 11:25:58 UTC (over 4 years ago)
On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 12:06:34PM +0100, Dave Martin wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 08:27:13AM -0700, Olof Johansson wrote:
> > Every now and then I come across a binding that's just done Wrong(tm),
> > merged through a submaintainer tree and hasn't seen proper review --
> > if it had, it wouldn't look the way it does. It's something we're
> > starting to address now since there's more people stepping up to be
> > maintainers, but there's a backlog of bad bindings already merged.
> > 
> > Often they are produced by translating the platform_data structures
> > directly over into device-tree properties without consideration to
> > describing the hardware or usual conventions, using key/value pairs
> > instead of boolean properties, etc.
> > 
> > Getting involved in cleaning up these kind of bindings is a great way
> > to learn "the ways of device tree" for someone that has interest in
> > that.
> > 
> > Latest find in this area is the Maxim 8925 bindings, that I came
> > across since they caused a compile warning on some defconfig. I'll
> > post a patch to address the warning but if someone else feels like
> > fixing the bindings on top of it that would be appreciated!
> 
> DT bindings (even poorly conceived, ad-hoc and/or undocumented ones)
> are ABI.
> 
> A review/merge process which _allows_ junk into an ABI is the real
> problem we need to solve here, but once it's there we can't just magic
> it away.
> 
> Do we plan on having a proper deprecation path for the junk, so that
> the old, superseded bindings continue to work for a limited time,
> preferably with a big fat warning somewhere?

This is the exact problem, and if you've seen how Linus rants about
the ARM ecosystem breaking ABI stuff all the time, you will start to
appreciate why ARM is not highly valued in the Linux communities.

We need to stop this crap getting in.

We need subsystem people to refuse to merge DT stuff if it hasn't been
reviewed by DT people - subsystem people are _not_ qualified to accept
those patches, even if they're responsible for the files which they're
being applied to. Yes, they can review them, but they should _not_
accept them without them having the bindings reviewed by folk who (a)
know the hardware and (b) know the implications of creating a DT binding.

That means whoever is doing the review of DT bindings probably needs to
have access to documentation on the hardware - or they need to be educated
by the submitter.  Or, we need submitters to individually justify why
each and every property is required in the description.

As for those already there, I don't think there's anything which can be
done about them in the short term (short = quite a few years) - we can't
go removing any properties that are already there, because that will
break the ABI.  We're basically stuck with that crap for ever now.

That's the point that people have to understand: if they accept a DT
description into the kernel, it's basically saying at that point that
the DT description is the official and definitive description for that
hardware.  It's just the same as adding a new syscall or something like
that which the entire world starts to use immediately.  You can't go
removing or changing it after the fact.

And this is also why a _hell_ of a lot of thought should go into each
and every property _before_ it is even proposed by the patch submitter.
 
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