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Subject: Re: [virtio-dev] [RFC RESEND] virtio-video: Add virtio video device specification

First of all, thanks Dmitry for sharing your protocol here.
I hope we can have a productive discussion to establish a nice protocol by
comparing with virtio-vdec and virtio-video.

On Fri, Nov 8, 2019 at 6:05 PM Gerd Hoffmann <kraxel@redhat.com> wrote:
> > > 1. Both the device and the driver submit requests to each other. For each
> > > request the response is sent as a separate request.
> >
> > To be more precise, in vdec there are no responses. The guest sends
> > commands to the host using one virtqueue. The host signals
> > asynchronous events, which might not have the exact earlier guest
> > request associated to them.
> How do you report errors?  Is there an error event for that?

We use a field |result| in virtio_vdec_host_req struct. That's to say
an error is
associated with a host request, not a guest request.
event to report an error associated with no host request.

> > An example of such special case could be
> > H.264 framebuffer reordering, where one might end up with a few decode
> > requests not resulting in any frames being output and then one decode
> > request that would trigger multiple accumulated frames to be returned.
> Note: this can be done with a request/response model too, by simply
> completing the decode request when there is frame data, so in that case
> multiple decode requests simply complete at the same time.  Yes, you can
> have multiple outstanding requests in virtio.  Out-of-order completion
> is also allowed btw.
> > > 2. No support for getting/setting video stream parameters. For example
> > > (decoder): output format (NV12, I420), so the driver cannot really select the
> > > output format after headers have been parsed.
> >
> > Getting video stream parameters is there, but they are currently left
> > fully in control of the host video decoder. Ability to select between
> > multiple possible formats could be worth adding, though.
> Nice to see you agree on that one ;)
> > > 3. No support for getting plane requirements from the device (sg vs contig,
> > > size, stride alignment, plane count).
> >
> > There is actually a bigger difference that results in that. Vdec
> > assumes host-allocated buffers coming from a different device, e.g.
> > virtio-gpu and the host having the right knowledge to allocate the
> > buffers correctly. This is related to the fact that it's generally
> > difficult to convey all the allocation constraints in a generic
> > manner.
> Yep, buffer handling is tricky, especially when it comes to decoding
> directly to gpu buffers and also when supporting playback of
> drm-protected streams where the guest might not be allowed to access
> the stream data.
> > > 5. Decoder only: new devices will be needed to support encoder, processor or
> > > capture. Currently input is always a bitstream, output is always a video
> > > frame. No way set input format (needed for encoder, see 2).
> >
> > The rationale for this was that this is a point of contact with the
> > host and a possible attack surface, so having a protocol as specific
> > as possible makes the attack surface smaller and is easier to validate
> > in the device implementation.
> I think it certainly makes sense to support both video encoding and
> video decoding with a single device spec.
> For capture (especially camera) and processor things are less clear,
> although there is at least some overlap too.  IIRC most of the spec is
> "TBD" for those anyway, so I'd suggest to drop them from the spec for
> now and focus on the video parts.

I agree that having video codec feature and camera feature in one
protocol sounds too complex.
Also, if we decide to have a buffer sharing device as Gerd suggested
in a different thread,
we'll get less overlaps between video codec feature and camera feature.
e.g. VIRTIO_VIDEO_T_RESOURCE_* would be simplified. (or removed?)

As Tomasz said, I think virtio-vdec can be modified to support encoding as well
without big changes.
I'm happy to update our protocol and driver implementation to support
encoding if

Best regards,

> cheers,
>   Gerd

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