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Re: wireless-2.6 queue opened

To: Jeff Garzik <jgarzik@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: wireless-2.6 queue opened
From: James Ketrenos <jketreno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 19:12:06 -0500
Cc: Netdev <netdev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
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I thought I had replied to this, but I don't see it in my sent, drafts, or on the list... so, I'll recompose and send again.

Jeff Garzik wrote:

It's high time that Linux get a serious effort going on a generic 802.11 stack, as it seems we are in danger of having every new wireless driver invent one if we do not.


Given that there are at least 3 complete wireless stacks (or thereabouts) floating about for Linux, I picked one that I felt had the best chance of being _evolved_ into a nice, clean, generic wireless stack: HostAP.

This is the path that ipw2100 has been following; we have taken a snapshot of the Host AP code and have generalized the Tx/Rx stacks to remove all HW specific fields and structures so we can use them for the ipw2100 and (eventually) the ipw2200 project. We currently have a HW independent stack that should work for any underlying card that can Tx/Rx 802.11 data frames. This stack is based on Host AP 0.1.3 (Pedro Ramalhais has since written a patch for ipw2100 that will update it to using the Host AP CVS)

The stack we have is not as complete as the original Host AP project -- portions of the code (specifically those aspects which I can't test or leverage w/ the HW I have) have been wrapped in #ifdef/#endif blocks (pretty much everything dealing with master mode).

As we've been trying to track down some ipw2100 project defects we've been liberal in throwing some ipw2100 specific checks into the ieee80211_* files, but those are easily removed. Also a result of that defect tracking there is some code in those files that just needs to be cleaned up/removed.

My general hope (plan?) is that generic wireless code can be arrived at without horribly intrusive changes that require a 2.7 kernel. wireless-2.6 is targetted for eventual merging, but it won't be submitted anytime soon.

Performance optimizations for wireless may be a bit more intrusive, but are not required (AFAIK) to get a generic stack with performance and features equivelant to what is currently enabled by the various drivers available.


BTW to Intel Centrino folks -- I would like to merge the current (open source) Centrino driver into wireless-2.6 as well, to get it more exposure, and also to ensure that it uses whatever generic 802.11 code happens to appear...

I would like to get a couple stability issues resolved before we incorporate the ipw2100 driver into the wireless-2.6 set.

For those that are curious, the current work plan for the ipw2100 is (roughly):

0) Fix fragmentation in the current ieee80211_* Tx/Rx stack
1) Generalize the management frame handling (as much as is currently required) into ieee80211_* 2) Extract the ieee80211_* code so that it can be compiled into the kernel separate from ipw2100 (either as a module or static) 3) Create a patchset for the wireless extension interface to support what's needed to configure algos and keys (based in part on what is done in Host AP and other drivers). Also provide a patchset for the user space tools. Hopefully that will kick off lots of discussion :)

During all of the above we will also be working to fix existing stability and feature issues. Main issues here deal with a data corruption issue during C3 processor transitions as well as random stalling of SSL connections.


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