[U-Boot-Users] RFA & Update: Using libfdt in u-boot for fdt command

Jerry Van Baren gerald.vanbaren at comcast.net
Fri Mar 2 13:31:39 CET 2007

David Gibson wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 02, 2007 at 12:25:17AM -0500, Jerry Van Baren wrote:
>> David Gibson wrote:
>>> On Thu, Mar 01, 2007 at 11:08:38PM -0500, Jerry Van Baren wrote:
>> [snip]
>>>> to give me a pointer to the node name for node tags and property name 
>>>> for property tags.  Now that I have it working, it would be trivial to 
>>>> change the calls to _fdt_next_tag() to instead call fdt_next_tag() 
>>>> passing NULL for the new fourth parameter **namep. ;-)
>>>> The reason I need it, I'm printing an unknown tree by stepping through 
>>>> the tree discovering the node and property names.  I need to have 
>>>> fdt_next_tag() return the *name* of the node/property as well as the tag 
>>>> so that I can print and indent for nodes or look up the property value 
>>>> and print the name=value combination.
>>> Hrm.  And it returns NULL for tags without a name?
>> I was unable to generate a tag without a name using dtc (other than the 
>> root node).  It should/would return null, which would be a problem. :-/
> I was thinking more of tag types which don't have a name, to wit,
>>> That might be a useful extension for the next_tag function.  The one
>>> thing I'm concerned about is who's responsible for verifying the name
>>> pointer.  I'm trying to keep libfdt robust enough that evern if
>>> presented with a badly corrupt blob it will fail relatively
>>> gracefully.  Ideally, no matter what it's presented with, it will
>>> always return at worst FDT_ERR_BADSTRUCTURE rather than crashing and
>>> will under no circumstances access memory outside the given blob
>>> size.
>> [snip]
>>>> Oh gaak!  What I hear you saying... if you have node a with subnode b 
>>>> and property b, subnode b has a property c:
>>>> /a     => node
>>>> /a/b   => node
>>>> /a/b   => property (inside node a)
>>>> /a/b/c => property (inside node b)
>>> Well, yes.  Except that in OF and derived terminology, properties are
>>> *never* referred to by path in this way.  It's always:
>>> 	"property 'fred' of node /foo/bar/baz"
>> I'm coming from a human interface syntax point of view and assumed that 
>> the human interface is paths like linux where the last item is a 
>> directory or file with the computer guessing what you really meant 
>> (which _isn't_ ambiguous in file/dir paths).  Is there a better syntax 
>> for distinguishing between node paths and properties?
> You assumed incorrectly.  Well, unless you count /proc/device-tree as
> a human interface to the device tree, which isn't entirely
> unreasonable.  OF certainly doesn't use that approach, it uses state
> instead, first "dev /foo/bar/baz" then ".properties" or "setprop ....".

OF is a programming language that has some crude elements of interaction 
(wouldn't that be "/foo/bar/baz" dev in Forthspeak? ;-).  Making user 
interface commands have state, where you do "fdt dev /foo/bar/baz" 
(remembering the offset of the node) and then "fdt .properties" 
implicitly working on /foo/bar/baz is ugly ugly ugly.

We need a usable human interface syntax, replacing the last "/" with 
some other character that is not a legal character for a name and thus 
won't cause confusion.  I am not familiar enough with OF to know if 
there is a unique character that can be used for the node path vs. 
property separator.  If someone has a good one, hollar, otherwise I'll 
do some more research when I have time.

Lacking a good property separator character, I will be sticking with the 
convention that the stuff after the last "/" is a node unless that 
assumption is wrong, in which case it is a property.

Best regards,

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