Re: rtw88, rtw89 -- options for bringing a couple rtw standalone GitHub repos into backports.git

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Hi Larry,

Sorry for the delay.

> I created the rtw89 GitHub repo, and rtw88 (wifi 5) repo before that to backport 
> the wireless-next version of the drivers into something that will build and run 
> on kernels 5.4 or newer. With a 'git clone' and 'make', a novice user can get 
> working wifi.

Right. That's pretty much the same as Brian was saying :)

> Keep in mind that most of our users are not very sophisticated. They frequently 
> do not install the kernel headers even though the README tells them explicitly 
> what the error means, and what they need to do for several of the popular 
> distros. In addition, they struggle with the concept that out-of-kernel drivers 
> must be built for the running kernel. Most can handle 'git pull', 'make', and 
> sudo make (sign) install', but not anything more complicated.


> As Brian said, I have done the maintenance by copying the patches from 
> wireless-next into the GitHub repo, and handling the API changes in a manual 
> fashion with '#ifdef LINUX_VERSION_CODE  ...' blocks. This works for me, but 
> unlike me, Brian is a programmer, and he wants to create a script whenever he 
> sees anything repetitive.

Which is basically what backports already did.

> As it is unlikely that I will be doing this much longer, 

And you've been doing it for basically forever, and probably get thanked
for it much less than you should, so: big thank you from me for making
all this more accessible to "regular" users, and for helping out with
wireless in what's probably about two decades now. Much appreciated!

> I support whatever he 
> needs to make him comfortable. Although the kernels found in newer releases of 
> various distros will eventually support the drivers, Realtek is adding wifi 7 
> features to the drivers. Once they release the new hardware, it will be a short 
> time until it is part of new models of laptops.


> I do not see where backports has any part of the solution to this problem. 

Why not? It solves the exact same problem, no?

> As I 
> had difficulty in getting it configured the first time I used that project, I do 
> not see that as part of the solution for rtw88/89, other than it could be used 
> to suggest solutions for the API changes. 

Well that's looking at it from the view of the user of backports, but I
think Brian is suggesting that he could be the user of backports, and
then the "regular end user" is just consuming the _output_ of backports
that Brian has vetted, so it ends up being similarly "make && sudo make
install" (or so.)

> My experience allows me to look at the 
> wireless-next and mainline kernels and determine what changes are needed. I am 
> not sure I could explain that well enough to teach Brian.

Right. Keep in mind also though that you're doing it differently from
what backports does - backports comes with cfg80211 and mac80211, so
it's easier to do than adjusting to older versions of mac80211.

> Finally, I applaud Brian's initiative toward this project and I am content in 
> knowing that the code is in good hands.



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