website: Added gem5 Town Hall meeting notes

Change-Id: Ic220bd9cdc5f3aa502c9edf11439bf660079d764
Tested-by: Bobby Bruce <>
Reviewed-by: Bobby Bruce <>
Maintainer: Bobby Bruce <>
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+title:  "Town Hall Meeting notes"
+author: Bobby R. Bruce
+date:   15-06-2020
+On Wednesday June 3rd the gem5 Workshop Town hall was held.
+This session was recorded and is publicly available for viewing:
+<iframe width="560" height="315"
+src="" frameborder="0"
+allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"
+Noted below are the highlights from the meeting:
+* A question was raised about minor releases. While we are open to the idea of
+releasing minor versions of gem5, we have no immediate plans to do so in the
+near future. We will continue to focus efforts on the next major version of
+gem5; to be released in the next few months.
+* The project intends to provide "good known configurations" which are
+tested against, and known to be realistic simulations of, real-world hardware.
+* To produce a faster product, it was suggested that gem5 could be
+paralleized. This is considered a task requiring significant engineering
+effort. As such, we have no intention of doing so as part of any foreseeable
+* The stats package was discussed at length, particularly the fact that its
+output is confusing.
+    * Stats documentation is accepted to be lacking and should be improved.
+    * A suggestion was raised to include a stats parser in the code-base. There
+was general agreement this would be beneficial.
+    * A JSON stats output format is now available, though not all SimObjects
+have been converted for it to function correctly in all cases.
+* Testing SimObjects was raised as a pain-point.
+    * A test harness for SimObjects would be of benefit; one that would
+permit the creation of unit tests for SimObjects.
+    * Better SimObject testing plays into gem5's broader desire to improve
+testing overall.
+* Some complained about gem5's code format checking.
+    * We could provide a clang format checker config as part of the gem5
+    * Some policies could be relaxed, particularly those regarding the C/C++
+header files which are, in some cases, non-standard.
+    * A general move towards more standardized C/C++ code-style standards would
+be beneficial overall.
+* It was noted that the clang address sanitizer should be run more frequently.
+Though these were run prior to the release of gem5-20, regular checks could
+catch bugs earlier in development.
+* Many in the community are are interested in the simulated performance. Going
+forward, this should be noted on the gem5 benchmark page. This data will enable
+us to understand whether our performance is degrading or improving over time.
+    * There were suggestions that simulated performance should be regularly,
+and automatically, tested in order to flag changes that result in degraded
+performance. However, it is unknown how this can be achieved.
+* FlexCPU should be merged into the gem5 code-base.
+* In a discussion regarding O3CPU; it was generally accepted that it is very
+out-of-date and needs considerable improvements.
+* PCI/PCIe support is desired by some but most agreed it should not be a top
+* Multicore simulation is agreed to have problems and, generally, needs to be
+better supported.
+* A question was raised asking if SE mode will eventually be dropped. While we
+will continue to improve FS mode, we wish to maintain SE mode as it can be
+used to run faster simulations in cases where full-system simulation is not
+    * There is on-going engineering efforts to consolidate the SE and FS code
+in order to lessen the maintenance burden associated with supporting both modes
+of usage.