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Date:   Sat, 25 Jan 2020 21:24:35 +0200
From:   Leon Romanovsky <leon@...nel.org>
To:     Florian Fainelli <f.fainelli@...il.com>
Cc:     "David S. Miller" <davem@...emloft.net>,
        Jakub Kicinski <kuba@...nel.org>,
        Michal Kubecek <mkubecek@...e.cz>,
        Michal Kalderon <michal.kalderon@...vell.com>,
        linux-netdev <netdev@...r.kernel.org>,
        RDMA mailing list <linux-rdma@...r.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: [PATCH net-next v1] net/core: Replace driver version to be
 kernel version

On Sat, Jan 25, 2020 at 08:49:58PM +0200, Leon Romanovsky wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 25, 2020 at 08:55:01AM -0800, Florian Fainelli wrote:
> >
> >
> > On 1/25/2020 8:14 AM, Leon Romanovsky wrote:
> > > From: Leon Romanovsky <leonro@...lanox.com>
> > >
> > > In order to stop useless driver version bumps and unify output
> > > presented by ethtool -i, let's overwrite the version string.
> > >
> > > Before this change:
> > > [leonro@...er ~]$ ethtool -i eth0
> > > driver: virtio_net
> > > version: 1.0.0
> > > After this change:
> > > [leonro@...ver ~]$ ethtool -i eth0
> > > driver: virtio_net
> > > version: 5.5.0-rc6+
> > >
> > > Signed-off-by: Leon Romanovsky <leonro@...lanox.com>> ---
> > >  Changelog:
> > >  v1: Resend per-Dave's request
> > >      https://lore.kernel.org/linux-rdma/20200125.101311.1924780619716720495.davem@davemloft.net
> > >      No changes at all and applied cleanly on top of "3333e50b64fe Merge branch 'mlxsw-Offload-TBF'"
> > >  v0: https://lore.kernel.org/linux-rdma/20200123130541.30473-1-leon@kernel.org
> >
> > There does not appear to be any explanation why we think this is a good
> > idea for *all* drivers, and not just the ones that are purely virtual?
>
> We beat this dead horse too many times already, latest discussion and
> justification can be found in that thread.
> https://lore.kernel.org/linux-rdma/20200122152627.14903-1-michal.kalderon@marvell.com/T/#md460ff8f976c532a89d6860411c3c50bb811038b
>
> However, it was discussed in ksummit mailing list too and overall
> agreement that version exposed by in-tree modules are useless and
> sometimes even worse. They mislead users to expect some features
> or lack of them based on this arbitrary string.
>
> >
> > Are you not concerned that this is ABI and that specific userland may be
> > relying on a specific info format and we could now be breaking their
> > version checks? I do not disagree that the version is not particularly
> > useful for in-tree kernel, but this is ABI, and breaking user-space is
> > usually a source of support questions.
>
> See this Linus's response:
> "The unified policy is pretty much that version codes do not matter, do
> not exist, and do not get updated.
>
> Things are supposed to be backwards and forwards compatible, because
> we don't accept breakage in user space anyway. So versioning is
> pointless, and only causes problems."
> https://lore.kernel.org/ksummit-discuss/CA+55aFx9A=5cc0QZ7CySC4F2K7eYaEfzkdYEc9JaNgCcV25=rg@mail.gmail.com/
>
> I also don't think that declaring every print in the kernel as ABI is
> good thing to do. We are not breaking binary ABI and continuing to
> supply some sort of versioning, but in unified format and not in wild
> west way like it is now.
>
> So bottom line, if some REAL user space application (not test suites) relies
> on specific version reported from ethtool, it is already broken and can't work
> sanely for stable@, distros and upstream kernels.

And about support questions,
I'm already over-asked to update our mlx5 driver version every time some
of our developers adds new feature (every week or two), which is insane.
So I prefer to have one stable solution in the kernel.

Thanks

>
> Thanks

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