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[Qemu-devel] [PATCH RFC 0/5] New VMState table based load/save infrastru

From: Juan Quintela
Subject: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH RFC 0/5] New VMState table based load/save infrastructure
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 15:34:05 +0200

This series implement a new save/load approach for device state.  I want to
start a discussion on how is better to design it.  This is the reason why only
one device has been ported to this new approach.

I increased the version_id of apic state, just to sent the 3 arrays
(isr, tmr, irr) as arrays.  I didn't want to introduce structure support
before there is any discussion about this, not that it is imposible to do
it in a compatible way.

Problems of current approach:
- have to maintain both load and save functions on sync
- it is not type safe
- you can't use easily the device save/load information to do more things.
  For instance, print the state of a device in the monitor. To do this, you
  basically have to copy foo_apic() function.
- You can't examine the saved images in any meaningful way

New approach:
- you only have to declare the state once, in a table, save/load functions are
  generic for all devices.
- it is type safe
- it is qdev-like design (i.e. you don't have to learn yet a completely
  different appearch for a similar problem)
- it is trivial to add new operations to VMStateInfo, and then you can use
  them anywhere (for instance printing in the monitor, etc).

Problems of new approach:
- it is less flexible, you can't progamatically save in any order that you want.
  It is not clear to me that we _want_ that flexibility.  Look for instance
  and hw/msix.c and think if you can be sure that save/load are on sync, and
  as soon as we get new versions, that things could be tested to be wright.

What do I want to discuss:
a- do we want to be able to load state form old versions?
   I am not sure that we are going to get this right for complex devices,
   and I don't completely see how we can have any kind of testing here.
   There was already a discussion about this on the list.
b- Is this the right approach?  What more do we want/need?
   For instance, implementing struct save support, and calling
   other "sub-descriptions" is not difficult, we just have to decide
   if we want it.
c- In the current approach, we have loops to send arrays,  I think that one
   got already done better on new approarch.  But we don't have support
   for ifs (see hw/ide.c
       if (s->identify_set) {
        qemu_get_buffer(f, (uint8_t *)s->identify_data, 512);
   Do we want support for things like that?
d- how aggresive should the new design be?  i.e. be able to be compatible with
   old design is good, or can we start with a clean sheet and just remove the
   gotchas of the previous design?


Later, Juan.

P.D. the 1st two patches just improve loadvm error messages.  I included then
     here because they make easier to play with the state/versions.  Thinking
     about proper solution that will be sent in a different patch.

Juan Quintela (5):
  loadvm already call vm_start()
  Don't call vm_start() if there was an error loading
  Don't ignore load_state() error return values.
  New VMstate save/load infrastructure
  Port apic to new VMState design

 hw/apic.c |   96 +++++-------------
 hw/hw.h   |  124 +++++++++++++++++++++++
 savevm.c  |  322 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-
 vl.c      |    4 +-
 4 files changed, 470 insertions(+), 76 deletions(-)

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