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Date:   Sun, 19 Feb 2017 09:00:24 -0600
From:   Alan Tull <>
To:     Moritz Fischer <>
Cc:     "Nadathur, Sundar" <>,
        Yves Vandervennet <>,
        Jason Gunthorpe <>,
        "" <>,
        linux-kernel <>,
        "" <>
Subject: Re: [RFC 7/8] fpga-region: add sysfs interface

On Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 2:45 PM, Moritz Fischer
<> wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 02:10:43PM -0600, Alan Tull wrote:
>> On Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 6:45 AM, Nadathur, Sundar
>> <> wrote:
>> > Hi all,
>> >    Interesting discussion. The discussion so far has brought out many concerns such as OS independence. There is an existing format, well-known to developers, with widespread support, and which is quite extensible: Type-Length-Value triples.
>> >
>> > To elaborate, a TLV-based format has many advantages:
>> > * It is highly extensible in many ways
>> >    -- You can express structures and arrays using TLVs. Our needs right now may seem limited but requirements grow over time.

Device tree can express arrays.

>> >    -- The space of Type values can be decomposed into standard pre-defined values that are in upstreamed code, and possibly experimental or feature-specific values.
>> >    -- Forward compatibility: We can write parsers that can skip unexpected type values, thus allowing old parsers to work with new additions. With some tweaks, old parsers can also reject unexpected values in some ranges while accepting them in other ranges.
>> > * It is OS-independent.
>> > * It can be easily parsed, in kernel or user space.
> Are there other users of the format? I have to admit I didn't look very
> long, but couldn't find any libs / existing code at a first glance.

Is there a standard you are looking at?  Have you seen any use of TLV's
in the Linux kernel you could point to?

>> > * It can be validated, in terms of Type values, acceptable lengths, etc.
>> >
>> > It  is not directly human-readable but that can be easily addressed with a tool that parses TLVs.
>> >
>> > Compared to some other proposals:
>> > * Compared to DTs, TLVs are OS-independent.
> That's just alternative facts here. Just because Linux uses fdt for
> devicetree blobs it is *not* OS dependent. There are several (see
> last email) non-Linux users of fdt / libfdt.
> Thanks,
> Moritz

It is worth repeating that libdtc is GPL/BSD with the intent of
allowing proprietary code to use libdtc.  So license shouldn't be a barrier.

Using device tree in the header would give us a way of doing enumeration at
least for Linux, not sure if that kind of info can be used in Windows
in some way.


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