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today's howtos

SFP modules on a board running Linux

We had to overcome a few challenges to get this setup working, using a mainline Linux kernel. As we discussed earlier, having SFP modules meant the whole MAC-PHY-SFP link has to be reconfigured at runtime, as the PHY in the SFP module is hot-pluggable. To solve this issue a framework called Phylink, was introduced in mid-2017 to represent networking links and allowing their component to share states and to be reconfigured at runtime. For us, this meant we had to first convert the CPSW MAC driver to use this phylink framework. For a detailed explanation of what composes Ethernet links and why Phylink is needed, we gave a talk at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe in 2018. While we were working on this and after we first moved the CPSW MAC driver to use Phylink, this driver was rewritten and a new CPSW MAC driver was sent upstream (CONFIG_TI_CPSW vs CONFIG_TI_CPSW_SWITCHDEV). We are still using the old driver for now, and this is why we did not send our patches upstream as we think it does not make sense to convert a driver which is now deprecated. A second challenge was to integrate the 2-wire capability of the VSC8572 PHY into the networking PHY and SFP common code, as our SFP modules I2C bus is connected to the PHY and not an I2C controller from the system-on-chip. We decided to expose this PHY 2-wire capability as an SMBus controller, as the functionality offered by the PHY does not make it a fully I2C compliant controller. Read more

What is good documentation for software projects?

The Open Geospatial (OSGeo) Foundation recently participated in Google's first Season of Docs, in which Google sponsored senior technical writers to contribute to open source projects. OSGeo is an umbrella organization for around 50 geospatial open source projects. I've contributed to a number of these projects over the years and recently co-mentored the two Season of Docs technical writers Google allocated to OSGeo. Read more

LibreOffice: Leif-Jöran Olsson and openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference

  • [LibreOffice] Community Member Monday: Leif-Jöran Olsson

    Members of The Document Foundation – the non-profit entity behind LibreOffice – help to steer the project, vote for the Board of Directors, and spread the word. Today we’re talking to Leif-Jöran Olsson, who has recently become a member of TDF…

  • openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference Still On, Virtual Conference Considered

    The tech world has been hit hard by the coronavirus impact, and large companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and so many others have already canceled their events, moving to virtual conferences that completely eliminate the risk of infection for attendees. The openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference, scheduled to take place in October, is still on, The Document Foundation said in an announcement today, but the organizers are still keeping an eye on the virus outbreak to adjust their plans in a timely manner. TDF says in a blog post that while it doesn’t yet cancel the physical event, it’s already considering alternative solutions, including a virtual conference.