Re: [PATCH 2/2] input: mt: Document the MT event slot protocol (rev2)

From: Henrik Rydberg
Date: Thu May 20 2010 - 06:40:38 EST

Peter Hutterer wrote:
>>> Will all drivers with ABS_MT_TRACKING_ID use slots? if not, how can I know
>>> in advance if a device may use slots or not?
>> Eventually, this might become true, but you are pointing at one of the weaker
>> points of the current setup. There is no bit field for the EV_SYN events, so
>> there is no way to know in advance if SYN_MT_SYNC or SYN_MT_SLOT is used. This
>> could quite possibly be added to the EVIO interface. Meanwhile, the method I use
>> is to detect the first SYN_MT_SLOT and select parser based on that information.
> I'd really prefer if there was some way to detect this. While I'm not quite
> sure how the matching X drivers would look like it's likely that the setups
> will be different for drivers that support slots and those that don't.
> e.g. those that don't have slots simply send events as valuators, those that
> do may split into multiple devices.
> Doing this at runtime - after the device has been set up is...tricky.

Changing SYN_MT_SLOT to ABS_MT_SLOT will take care of this.

>> If you are thinking of a setup where one program is already hooked up to the
>> device, and a new one comes in just as the message in question appears on the
>> wire, it just means the new program will have to spend some time catching up. If
>> this should ever become a problem, one could possibly add a send-full-state
>> method to the input layer, to be issued when the new program opens the device. I
>> doubt this will be needed in practice though, since contacts change all the time.
> This was the case I was wondering about. While I agree with the last part
> (contacts change all the time) the side-effect that you'll get from this is
> that devices can seemingly be non-responsive for random periods of time.
> If you have a finger down when the X server starts or after a VT switch (or
> even a fast user switch), the driver will have to drop events. So you can
> wriggle your finger around and nothing happens, but once you lift it goes
> "well, now it works again". Since this happens only once in a while, it can
> make the whole lot appear flaky. Especially if one finger works and the
> other one doesn't.
> So I guess it comes down to whether sending SYN_MT_SLOT with every event
> costs too much compared to these admittedly rare use-cases. They're not much
> different to the current button events either, if you weren't there when a
> button was pressed you won't know. So I'm somewhat indifferent about this
> bit.

Yes, it is a inherent property of the input protocol between the kernel and user
space. A different problem, in other words.

> And yes, you could add it once we find it's an issue, but by then someone
> has already spent time to work around this. And when you then start sending
> slot events all the time, you admit that writing the workaround was just a
> time waster :)

Work around what, exactly?

>> As a side note, the notion of a used slot depends on how the attributes of the
>> slot are interpreted. The method described in the document treats an
>> ABS_MT_TRACKING_ID value outside of the driver-specified value range as an
>> unused slot.
> It's easier for a latecomer to guess a tracking ID since you can just
> assign any random value to it, provided the kernel guarantees to only send
> updates on the tracking ID for changes. This doesn't quite work for slots.
> But I'm not sure what your last sentence means. Does this mean the kernel
> will open a new slot for out-of-range tracking IDs? I'm missing something
> here.

I am referring to the notion of create-move-destroy from earlier discussions,
and the question of how it is implemented using slots. The document is a bit
unclear on this point, so I will add a note stating something like this:

* Every slot with a tracking id within the value range represents a contact.

* Tracking ids not previously present are considered new.

* Tracking ids no longer present are considered removed.


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