Fw: 96-277r1 - Proposed Change in QErr for SPC-2

Edward A. Gardner gardner at acm.org
Wed Feb 26 19:32:14 PST 1997

* From the SCSI Reflector (scsi at symbios.com), posted by:
* "Edward A. Gardner" <gardner at acm.org>
The discussion of what Basic Queuing is or was supposed to be has gotten
intensive enough that it's worth going back and reviewing what we've
actually agreed to.  The relevant document is 96-198r4, which was approved
or accepted at the November working group and plenary meetings in Palm

Reviewing this document and its antecedents, the first thing that stands
out is that nowhere is there a statement that this is intended for or
motivated by single host systems.  The purpose stated in all revisions of
the proposal (those distributed in mailings) is:

    The essence of the proposal is to modify SAM-2 to permit two levels of
    task management complexity: basic and full.

This purpose is every bit as valid, if not more so, for multi-host systems
as for single host systems.

The next thing that stands out is that the ABORT TASK, ABORT TASK SET, and
TARGET RESET task management functions are singled out as being mandatory
for a Basic Queuing device.  The CLEAR TASK SET function is explicitly
identified as being optional.  This is significant because implicitly
aborting commands after an error amounts an implicit task management

Ralph Weber and Peter Johansson advocate that targets perform an implicit
ABORT TASK SET when an error occurs, only aborting tasks from the same
initiator (QErr=11 in Ralph's proposal).  Jim McGrath objects to this,
instead arguing for an implicit CLEAR TASK SET, aborting all tasks from all
initiators (QErr=01 in Ralph's proposal).  The conclusion is clear, Ralph
and Peter are asking to reuse a function that must already exist in the
target drive, while Jim is asking for a optional function that need not
otherwise be implemented.  Given the Basic Queuing proposal as it was
approved by T10, Ralph's proposal is unquestionably simpler.

Incidentally, this is/was not a new or changed feature of Basic Queuing. 
ABORT TASK SET is listed as mandatory and CLEAR TASK SET as optional in
every version of the Basic Queuing proposal that has been distributed in
the mailings, specifically:

96-198r1    dated July 18, 1996
96-198r3    dated September 18, 1996
96-198r4    dated November 7, 1996

My memory (which I haven't verified against minutes) is that the question
of ABORT TASK SET versus CLEAR TASK SET being mandatory was extensively
discussed and decided the first time this proposal was discussed, at the
July meeting prior to r1.  If there is something wrong with this proposal,
there has been ample time to object.

The final thing that stands out is the voting record from the November
working group minutes, specifically:

>> The group argued over whether to allow the QErr bit to be zero in
>> the control mode page and failed to reach broad consensus on the matter.
>> The motion passed 17:2.  George Penokie and Jeff  Williams stated their
>> votes as being based on objections to the requirements placed on the
>> control mode page.

The working group "failed to reach broad consensus", my memory is that
there was considerable dissension on whether to require QErr=1.  The two
people who voted against the proposal gave this as their reason.  Speaking
for myself, I understood the major issue to be that of solely supporting
the Simple queue tag, the QErr value being a minor issue that could be
fixed later, and felt it more important to establish Basic Queuing as a
valid concept than to worry about a specific QErr value.  I believe I
remember other people saying similar things, but there is no sufficiently
detailed written record.

Given recent reflector traffic, today I would vote for QErr=00 being
mandatory, with support for other QErr values being optional.  Doing
nothing has to be simpler than aborting any or all commands (after all,
it's the same action as when a command completes normally).  Single host
systems can always issue a TARGET RESET.  And it seems to be the preference
of multi-host systems.

Finally, I feel I must point out that, according to the minutes, neither
Jim McGrath nor anyone else from Quantum attended the November meetings
where this was approved.  For that matter, Jim attended neither the July
working group (where a formal Basic Queuing proposal was first discussed)
not the September working group.  He has not been present at any of the
working groups that have dealt with this.  I would have more sympathy for
Jim's arguments if he presented them in advance, rather than pretending to
a revisionist history after the fact.

Edward A. Gardner               gardner at acm.org
Ophidian Designs                719 593-8866 voice
1262 Hofstead Terrace           719 593-8989 fax
Colorado Springs, CO  80907
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