[PATCH 1/3] mtd: cmdlinepart: make the partitions rule more strict

Brian Norris computersforpeace at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 00:27:40 EST 2012

(re-include others on CC)

On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 5:11 PM, Christopher Cordahi
<christophercordahi at nanometrics.ca> wrote:
> Huang Shijie <b32955 <at> freescale.com> writes:
>> 于 2012年09月04日 19:48, Shmulik Ladkani 写道:
>> >
>> > My POV is that sorting and verification is not needed, is troublesome,
>> > and might affect users in ways they don't expect.
>> >
>> > So far, mtdparts commandline parsing has been very lenient and liberal.
>> > I think we should keep this approach; give the user the flexibility,
>> > he'll be responsible to provide meaningful cmdline parts for his
>> > system.
>> >
>> > Actually, Huang's initial complaint was that 'parse_cmdline_partitions'
>> > was too strict - the truncated partition was not registered!
>> >
>> > Now, philosophy aside, let's talk about some usecases that might break.
>> >
>> > I remember overlapping partitions (more precisely, partition that is a
>> > subset of another) being common in some embedded systems, where the
>> > "rootfs" and "kernel" partitions are a subset of the "overall image"
>> > partition.
>> > Why break this? if users enjoy the flexibility, and careful not to
>> > create silly partitions, I'm in favor of keeping the flexibility.
>> >
>> > Same goes for sorting.
>> > If one has a system hacked to work with mtd0 hardcodedly, but mtd0's
>> > physical location is somewhere at the end of the device, why reorder the
>> > partitions enumeration affecting this system?
>> >
>> > I'd say keep it simple and flexible.
>> yes, it's really simple and flexible.
> Is it agreed that sorting is not necessary and will not be implemented?
> If so are there objections to me modifying the documentation to indicate
> that out of order partitions is part of the supported design?

I don't object but rather would welcome the documentation. I think the
consensus was that there were real reasons to allow unsorted
partitions at least, and maybe even overlapping partitions.

> In my embedded distribution, I would like to introduce a MTD partition
> at the end of the list to not affect existing hardcoded MTD numbers.

FWIW, my embedded systems make use of both out-of-order and
overlapping partitions. I don't see why they must be sorted, and
currently, overlapping is useful for me in exactly the scenarios given
above (rootfs + kernel as subsets of entire_device).

> Although my out of order partitions worked, I couldn't find any
> documentation indicating it was a supported feature.  This thread with
> Artem's support for sorting got me worried.
> If the only reason for sorting is to prevent overlapping partitions,
> I think this can be written just as efficiently without a sort although
> Shmulik also gives a reason why this restriction should not exist.
> I'd prefer to accept that task rather than have to handle changing
> MTD numbers.
>> But I think it's not wise to export the 0-size partition to user.
>> The user may confused at this.
> Although I just submitted a patch to improve this, personally I think
> if a user specifies a zero sized partition, they should get it.  Or if
> it's inherently incorrect I think it should be an error.  Similarly
> I'd expect the same for truncated partitions, either provide the size
> specified or error.  Since I don't ever foresee using either of these
> two features I don't have any objections to current situation.  These
> are just my $0.02

Well, the truncated partition is helpful sometimes. Perhaps an old
flash partition layout is used when swapping in a different, smaller
NAND; the truncated partition allows the system to still work, with a
nice warning in case the user wants to fix it.


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