George replied to me in IM -- posting here for completeness:
> Yes, there is a reason. if sendi succeeds, it sends a very small data (at least on the devices that supports it), otherwise it returns a descriptor similar to btl_alloc()
> thus you will have to pack the data yourself, and the PML doesn't know if IN_PLACE should be used or not
> thus the resulting solution is slower than the default in the spart_prepare case (which is prepare_src + send)
On Jun 14, 2013, at 3:46 PM, Jeff Squyres (jsquyres) <jsquyres_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> In working on the upcoming Cisco USNIC BTL, we noticed that btl.sendi is invoked by OB1 in the non-MCA_BTL_FLAGS_SEND_INPLACE case.
> Is there a reason for this? Or is it only because no one who uses INPLACE has cared about sendi?
> Jeff Squyres
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