[SeaBIOS] [RFC] Document and rework debug levels

Laszlo Ersek lersek at redhat.com
Wed Apr 6 19:58:28 CEST 2016

On 04/06/16 19:52, Kevin O'Connor wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 06, 2016 at 07:38:49PM +0200, Laszlo Ersek wrote:
>> On 04/06/16 19:07, Kevin O'Connor wrote:
>>> There are a number of debug levels in the SeaBIOS code today.
>>> Unfortunately, much of the code does not follow any particular
>>> standard for which debug level to use.
>>> This is becoming cumbersome for a few reasons:
>>> - some people want fewer debug messages to reduce boot time, but still
>>>   want critical messages (eg, error messages).  Debug level 1 can be
>>>   too verbose while debug level 0 disables all messages.
>>> - some drivers become very verbose before other drivers, and thus
>>>   depending on a user's hardware, the user might get flooded with
>>>   messages they don't want before seeing the important messages from
>>>   the driver they were looking for
>>> - when writing a new driver, it's not easy for a developer to know
>>>   what debug level to choose
>>> I'm proposing that the debug levels be documented and that all of the
>>> debug messages in SeaBIOS be reworked to follow that documentation.
>>> Here are the debug levels I propose using:
>>> Level 1:
>>>   - SeaBIOS version banner
>>>   - Major error messages and major warning messages that are likely
>>>     indicative of an error
>>>   - Screen output (ie, printf) would also be available at this level
>>>     when screen-and-debug is true
>>> Level 2:
>>>   - Critical memory layout information.  This would include the e820
>>>     map prior to booting and similar information about UMB memory,
>>>     EBDA memory, BIOS table locations, etc.
>>> Level 3:
>>>   - Found hardware for which there is a SeaBIOS driver and critical
>>>     information about that hardware (such as its address, hardware
>>>     version, hardware capabilities, etc.)
>>> Level 4:
>>>   - Major code flow events between SeaBIOS phases (eg, post, boot,
>>>     resume phases)
>>> Level 5:
>>>   - Code flow notifications at driver and subsystem startup (eg, "init
>>>     usb\n" type messages)
>>>   - Thread startup and shutdown messages
>>> Level 6:
>>>   - Basic driver and subsystem debugging.  This would be driver
>>>     specific messages that are not expected to be called with high
>>>     frequency (ie, not called on every disk access nor on every
>>>     keyboard access, etc.)
>>> Finally, for debug messages that could be called with high frequency
>>> (eg, on each disk read), I propose defining a DEBUG_xyz at the top of
>>> the particular driver source code file which would default to 9 and a
>>> developer could change to a lower number when working on that code.
>>> So, for example, DEBUG_xhci could be introduced and be used on
>>> dprintf() messages that are invoked on each xhci transfer.
>>> As part of this proposal, the default debug level would change from
>>> level 1 to level 4.  Most dprintf level 1 calls in the code would
>>> change to a level between 1 and 4.  Most driver dprintf calls between
>>> levels 3-8 would end up changing to level 6.  Most dprintf calls with
>>> 9 (or higher) would instead get a DEBUG_xyz definition.
>>> Thoughts?
>> Seems well-thought-out to me. Any chance you could introduce symbolic
>> constants too for the debug levels?
> It would be nice to do that.  However, I'm not sure if:
>         dprintf(DEBUG_memory, "my message\n");
> would become too cumbersome due to the length of the symbol names.

For one data point, it wouldn't bother me. (I'm used to this pattern --
in edk2 the debug log level is a log mask actually. Occasionally a
bitmask (of two bits) is constructed on the spot.)

On the other hand:

> Maybe adding wrappers (eg, debug_mem("my message") ) for the common
> cases would avoid that problem.

would nicely imitate pr_*() from Linux's "include/linux/printk.h".


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