Re: [RFC] Device: device_get_binding() returns NULL if device fails initialization

Tomasz Bursztyka

Hi Daniel,

That's actually a good point.

And that reminds me, that most of our drivers do not set driver API to
NULL if they fail.
But they do return an explicit code which no one care about:
see _sys_device_do_config_level() in kernel/nanokernel/device.c

I think there you can add also a tiny test:

if (device->init(info) < 0) {
info->driver_api = NULL;

(actually, naming in this function should be reversed: struct device
should be "device" and
struct device_config should be "info" or "config", even better. But I am
diverging from subject)

It's better to let device.c doing it, instead of making sure all driver
behaves well on that aspect.
As long as they return a relevant status, it will be fine.


Problem Statement:
Currently, there is no way to know if a driver fails initialization.

Problem Description:
Zephyr currently does not provide a way to check programmatically
whether a device can be used. The device_get_binding() always
returns a valid device struct (if such device driver instance
exists). This causes a bit of headache when debugging apps as
the developer assumes the devices are ready to be used.

The solution was actually proposed in [1] a while ago. The idea
is to piggy-back onto driver_api pointer. If the pointer is NULL,
the device driver has failed in its own initialization function.
The driver_api is set to NULL (or in other words, never set to
the actual API struct). When device_get_binding() sess that
the driver_api is NULL for a particular device struct, it returns
NULL to the caller, and thus preventing its use in the app.
Since this is a binary state, instead of creating another variable
inside device struct, this uses driver_api to avoid unnecessarily
enlarging the ROM size. Since this is a simple change, a patch
has been created in [2].


Daniel Leung

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