[PATCH 2/3 Try#2] NOR Flash Support (U-Boot env)

Andy Green andy at openmoko.com
Mon Dec 24 11:11:28 CET 2007

Hash: SHA1

Somebody in the thread at some point said:
> [moving this thread to the u-boot list, since it's not a kernel issue]
> On Fri, Dec 21, 2007 at 09:41:51AM +0000, Andy Green wrote:
>> Adapt default env to boot from /dev/mtdblock5 and specify
>> physmap-flash for nor at start of kernel commandline
> I think those changes are fine, however: devirginator has to support
> both GTA01 and GTA02, therefore we can't unconditionally make such
> changes.
> I think first devirginator will have to be modified to use different
> environment.in partitions depending on the actual model
> (GTA01/GTA02/hxd8).
> Werner, what are your thoughts on this?  How did you solve it for hxd8?
> Plase don't tell me "fork the codebase"?

Hi Harald -

If the kernel that devirginator drops in the device on GTA-01 also has
the NOR patch, it will create a (useless, but logically present) MTD
device representing the (IIRC, on GTA-01 nonexistent) NOR device's
footprint and make the partitions match up.  The MTD ROM support should
accept it despite the Flash probe would fail, so it is one way to get a
unified behaviour.

On the more general question of how to manage GTA-01 when it is not
directly a consideration for reaching production of GTA-02, there's
another model for coming at this.

We could treat the GTA-01 low level software like kernel, U-Boot and
devirginator (I guess generally usermode code doesn't care much what it
runs on) as "released" for GTA-01 and instead of trying to target -01
and -02 for new development work -- which focuses on a GTA-02 that can
go to production -- we find or fund a guy interested to manage
backporting newer GTA-02 work on to a "stable" GTA-01 tree -- it's a bit
like the 2.6 stable branch kernel maintainer.

If we additionally consider a GTA-03 that is the subject of occasional
fantasies I read about, there is a clear problem of scaling the
development effort over multiple variants (and in my newbie point of
view, having to deal with intricacies of history) when really only the
"next" version can pay off the work in terms of going to production, and
every stumble or blocking that comes from GTA-01 retards GTA-02
production in the narrowest sense needlessly.  All the work is GPL so
there is no issue exposing in realtime everything we plan to give out
binaries for.

What are your thoughts?

- -Andy
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