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Re: Shortest path to significant improvement in hardware support

From: Bruno Félix Rezende Ribeiro
Subject: Re: Shortest path to significant improvement in hardware support
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2015 02:36:42 -0300

Hello, Robert!

Em Tue, 29 Sep 2015 22:56:59 +0200
Robert Millan <rmh@gnu.org> escreveu:

> When you say USB is one of the things people need most, are you
> thinking on any particular usage of USB? I.e. any device class in
> particular? A combination of them?

Not really --- I mean USB in general.  However, if I had to choose,
I'd pick USB mass storage devices.

> I recall in earlier talk about USB we discussed about possible design
> options my understanding from that discussion is that there were
> basically three possible desirable goals:
>   #1 multiplexing (multiple processes simultaneously using USB devices)
>   #2 authorization (allowing unprivileged users without I/O capability)
>   #3 compatibility with non-Rump users (e.g. CUPS or SANE)
> Note that if you simply patch libusb to start a Rump instance all by
> itself, you're giving up on goals #1 and #2. However you retain goal
> #3. Is this something you were already contemplating?

Somewhat.  I'm not quite concerned about #2, because I'm assuming the
majority of people run Hurd on their personal computers.  #1 is more
worrying, but I think we can do without it --- at least as a proof of
concept --- to get any USB working on Hurd at all.  Furthermore, it
might be the case that for some device classes and common uses
multiplexing isn't that critical.

> Note that retaining goals #1 and #2 is not difficult, it just means
> adding a translator process to sit in-between and forward ioctls to
> Rump. The upside is that this is *exactly* the same thing that is
> missing for sound, so one could kill two birds with a single stone
> this way.

That's true.  However, I prefer to start with the least complex
approach at first, and then study its practical limitations and then
develop it further, if needed.  Moreover, in order to grasp every
concept needed to make the ideal Hurd USB implementation, I need to
reduce complexity and handle issues in isolation, learning by
composition in small chunks and in a progressive manner.

 ,= ,-_-. =.  Bruno Félix Rezende Ribeiro (oitofelix) [0x28D618AF]
((_/)o o(\_)) http://oitofelix.freeshell.org/
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[GNU DISCLAIMER] I'm a GNU hacker, but my views don't necessarily
match those of the GNU project.  Hereby I express my own opinion,
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