Thanks for reviewing the draft proposal, and for your comments.
Last year’s discussion concluded with the agreement that, as a next step, we would draft a proposal of the data structure .
That draft is the DEN0135 document . I realise that I haven’t made it sufficiently explicit in this thread that the DEN0135 document  is still at draft quality (see ALP maturity called out in the title page and footers). Please do not consider this a finished document 😊. We’ve been iterating on this pdf as we gather feedback from the open-source communities. It's becoming clear that we need to move this debate to a more suitable forum. That’s why we’re proposing, in this thread, to move the document to trustedfirmware.org.
There (and addressing the bottom half of your 4th point), the intent is to take new tag proposals as patch submissions. As you point out, this creates a low-barrier for new tags to be requested, suiting the needs of the open source communities that do adopt this data structure. First, we need to gather consensus on the initial document release. We want to use the repo in tf.org as a medium to mature the data structure definition and track the feedback/discussions.
You raise very good points. Some do clash with feedback we've received so far. That further motivates the need to host this document in a repo. Once that's done, we'll have a suitable forum to discuss these distinct perspectives.
- Where did the requirement for 16-byte alignment come from?
The requirement originated in feedback from the u-boot community, please see . The argument for 16-byte alignment is that some data-structures have to be 16-byte aligned. We ought to meet that requirement if we ever want to carry those structures.
It seems a bit excessive considering that no data field is actually larger than 4 bytes (and it looks like it influenced several other choices in the spec, e.g. unnecessarily large transfer entry header because the bytes to the alignment boundary have to be filled anyway).
None of the current standard entries contain a field larger than 4-bytes. It's plausible that in the future there may be standard entries with a 64-bit field. Hence, I believe we need entries to be at least 8-byte aligned.
- The table entry header seems unnecessarily large. What's the point of
including a "header length" field when that field will always contain a 16?
The "header length" enables the table entry header to be extended if we ever need that in the future. Changes to the TE header are backwards compatible. A consumer obtains the address of the data by adding the "header length" to the entry's base address.
While we're at it, the whole table header is also a bit large... do we really expect to need 2^32 possible versions? You could easily shrink that down to 16 bytes.)
- It's not exactly clear what the table header's "version" field is supposed to
mean. What exactly would cause us to increase the version?
The TL header version is incremented when we do a new release of the document. At a new document release, we can introduce one or more new standard tags and also append fields to the TL header.
What should a reader do when it reads an unknown version field? It would probably be a good idea for the final document to specify that in more detail, and I'd maybe consider splitting the version number in a major version and minor version byte (major version = fully incompatible to older readers; minor version = added meaning to previously reserved fields, but older readers can continue to read the fields they know about).
Agreed. I see this point requires further discussion and agreement between all involved.
- I don't think a strict definition of entry type ranges is a good idea,
particularly if "standard" and "OEM" are the only two options.
As mentioned above, the standard tag range ought to have a low-barrier for new tags to be requested. The OEM range allows FW integrators to carry platform-specific entries that may not be generalizable.
- Embedding large data structures like a full FDT or ACPI table directly by value
in this structure seems like a bad idea and too inflexible in practice.
Note that the FDT can still be pointed to by X0/R2 without having to be included by value in the TL. The feedback we received so far is: data should be included in the TL as that simplifies procedures, such as relocating the data, without having to worry about stale pointers. Having said that, maybe we can debate this point and find a compromise that works for all!
 https://email@example.com...  https://developer.arm.com/documentation/den0135/a  https://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg441605.html