before we change flashrom to work with current layout requirements, we should summarize the features we need/want, and then decide how to handle the individual layout regions internally.
Terms: "write strategy" describes a combination of erase+write commands with a given block size, touching some blocks. "read protected" describes a region which can not be read. "write protected" describes a region which can not be written. "write once" describes a region which can be written exactly once in the chip lifetime.
If you add a feature to the list, please give it a nickname so we know which feature people are referring to. Some of the features below might not be desirable, but I want to list them anyway so we can explicitly declare them as unsupported if needed.
fullwrite-unrestricted: Write a chip-sized image, no special read/write restrictions of the chip, no layout file needs to be specified. Default write case right now.
fullwrite-noread: Write a chip-sized image, reading anything from the chip is not possible. Many DVD writers fall in that category. No verification, violates our reliability guarantees.
fullwrite-postread: Write a chip-sized image, reading anything from the chip is only possible after write. Chips which are read-locked until a full erase/write fall in that category. Do those exist as standalone flash chips or only integrated into processors?
fullwrite-partialread: Write a chip-sized image, reading is only possible in some chip regions. Only partial verification, violates our reliability guarantees.
fullwrite-partialwrite: Write a chip-sized image, but writing is only possible in some regions. This is obviously a conflict unless the image has the same contents as the chip in the write-protected regions and there is a possible write strategy for the whole image which does not touch the write-protected regions. Should flashrom always refuse this scenario, or only refuse it in case of conflicts?
partialwrite-unrestricted: Write only parts of an image, the rest of the chip contents is kept, no special read/write restrictions.
partialwrite-partialread: Write only parts of an image, the rest of the chip contents is kept, reading is only possible in some chip regions. If no read-protected regions are written and a suitable write strategy exists, should flashrom warn? If a read-protected region is written, should flashrom warn/refuse due to reliability requirements?
partialwrite-partialwrite: Write only parts of an image, the rest of the chip contents is kept, writing is only possible in some chip regions. If no write-protected regions are written and a suitable write strategy exists, should flashrom warn? flashrom will refuse to write a write-protected region.
fullread-unrestricted: Read the full chip, no special read restrictions of the chip.
partialread-unrestricted: Read only parts of a chip, no special read restrictions of the chip.
partialread-partialread: Read only parts of a chip, some regions are read-protected. flashrom should refuse to read any read-protected regions.
partialread-imagefiller: If only parts of a chip are read and the read image has full chip size, what should be used as filler for unread regions? 0x00 or 0xff?
partialread-layout-imagesize: If only parts of a chip are read, should the read image still have full chip size with all read regions filled in at the respective locations?
partialread-layout-split: If only parts of a chip are read, should it be possible to write each region (or a combination thereof) to a separate image file, and would that mapping be specified in the layout file?
partialwrite-layout-split: If only parts of a chip are written, should it be possible to collect each part of the new image from a separate image file, and would that mapping be specified in the layout file?
readwrite-protection-time: Which read protection and write protection times exist? Temporary lock until unlock, temporary lock until chip soft reset, temporary lock until chip/programmer hard reset (powerdown or reset line), permanent eternal lock.
readwrite-protection-type: Which read protection and write protection types exist? Programmer lock (e.g. Intel SPI), hardware chip lock (WP pin), software chip lock (chip command).
readwrite-protection-interaction: How should we express this situation: A region is write-locked with a software chip lock, but to remove that software chip lock, a hardware chip lock has to be disabled first, then the software chip lock can be disabled.
partialaccess-crash: Some regions in the chip are really off-limits and will cause an unrecoverable error (system crash) when accessed (read or write). That seems to be the case for some EC/flash interactions.
Comments? Any forks of flashrom (e.g. chromium) which need infrastructure features not mentioned above?