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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/5] capemgr: Beaglebone DT overlay based cape manager
On Tue, 08 Jan 2013, Pantelis Antoniou wrote:

> Hi Lee,
> On Jan 8, 2013, at 12:00 PM, Lee Jones wrote:
> >>>>> At the end of the line, some kind of hardware glue is going to be needed.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I just feel that drawing from a sample size of 1 (maybe 2 if I get to throw
> >>>>> in the beagleboard), it is a bit premature to think about making it overly
> >>>>> general, besides the part that are obviously part of the infrastructure
> >>>>> (like the DT overlay stuff).
> >>>>>
> >>>>> What I'm getting at, is that we need some user experience about this, before
> >>>>> going away and creating structure out of possible misconception about the uses.
> >>>>
> >>>> IMHO stuff like this will be needed by many SoCs. Some examples of similar
> >>>> things for omaps that have eventually become generic frameworks have been
> >>>> the clock framework, USB OTG support, runtime PM, pinmux framework and
> >>>> so on.
> >>>>
> >>>> So I suggest a minimal generic API from the start as that will make things
> >>>> a lot easier in the long run.
> >>>
> >>> I agree. The ux500 platform already has the concept of "user interface boards",
> >>> which currently is not well integrated into devicetree. I believe Sascha
> >>> mentioned that Pengutronix had been shipping some other systems with add-on
> >>> boards and generating device tree binaries from source for each combination.
> >>>
> >>> Ideally, both of the above should be able to use the same DT overlay logic
> >>> as BeagleBone, and I'm sure there are more of those.
> >>
> >> Hmm, I see.
> >>
> >> I will need some more information about the interface of the 'user interface boards'.
> >> I.e. how is the board identified, what is typically present on those boards, etc.
> >
> > User Interface Boards are mearly removable PCBs which are interchangeable
> > amongst various hardware platforms. They are connected via numerous
> > connectors which carry all sorts of different data links; i2c, spi, rs232,
> > etc. The UIB I'm looking at right now has a touchscreen, speakers, a key
> > pad, leds, jumpers, switches and a bunch of sensors.
> >
> > You can find a small example of how we interface to these by viewing
> > 'arch/arm/boot/dts/stuib.dtsi'. To add a UIB to a particular build, we
> > currently include it as a *.dtsi from a platform's dts file.
> I see. What I'm asking about is whether there's a method where you can read
> an EEPROM, or some GPIO code combination where I can find out what kind of board
> is plugged each time.
> If there is not, there is no way to automatically load the overlays; you can always
> use the kernel command line, or have the a user space application to request the loading
> of a specific board's overlay.

Unfortunately, there is no way to probe the UIBs. :(

> >> Can we get some input by the owner of other similar hardware? I know the FPGA
> >> people have similar requirements for example. There are other people that are hitting
> >> problems getting DT to work with their systems, like the V4L people with the order
> >> of initialization; see I think the V4L problem is
> >> cleanly solved by the overlay being contained in the V4L device node and applied just before
> >> the device is probed.
> >>
> >> In the meantime it would be better to wait until we have some ack from the maintainers
> >> of the core subsystems about what they think.

Lee Jones
Linaro ST-Ericsson Landing Team Lead │ Open source software for ARM SoCs
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