> One question which I have is why would you ever want to continue polling
> if there is no work to be done? Is it a tradeoff between the amount of
> time to handle an IRQ vs. the time to do a poll?
Yes. IRQ even taken alone eat non-trivial amount of resources.
Actually, I remember Jamal worked with machine, which had
no io-apic and only irq ack/mask/unmask eated >15% of cpu there. :-)
> An assumption that if
> there was previous network traffic there is likely to be more the next
> time the interface is checked (assuming you have other work to do between
> the time you last polled the device and the next poll)?
Note also that the testing of "goto not_done" was made in pure environment:
dedicated router. Continuous polling is an evident advantage in this situation,
only power is eaten. I would not enable this on a notebook. :-)
> Is enabling/disabling of the RX interrupts on the network card an issue
> in the sense of "you need to wait X us after writing to this register
> for it to take effect" or other issue which makes it preferrable to have
> some "hysteresis" between changing state from IRQ-driven to polling?
"some hysteresis" is right word. This loop is an experiment with still
unknown result yet. Originally, Jamal proposed to spin several times.
I killed this. Robert proposed to check inifinite loop yet. (Note,
jiffies check is just a way to get rid of completely idle devices,
one jiffie is enough lonf time to be considered infinite).