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SubjectRe: bug in 2.3.18ac9 net/
>>>>> "Michael" == Michael Elizabeth Chastain <> writes:

Michael> First, on a literal level, leaving out a "then" keyword is
Michael> not a "little irrelevant change".
Michael> Documentation/kbuild/config-language.txt is the specification
Michael> for Config Language. Based on legacy "bash" syntax, the
Michael> Config Language syntax specifies that an "if" statement must
Michael> have a "then" keyword.

I don't actually disagree that this specific case is a bug in the file, however it annoys me to see over and over again how
the files are changed to get around stupidities in the menu
based config tools.

Michael> So I think the real question is "how come Menuconfig doesn't
Michael> print out informative syntax errors?" Because if it did,
Michael> then the people who write scripts with syntax
Michael> errors would get error reports before submitting their
Michael> patches to Alan or Linus.

Except that it requires that the people who write the patches actually
use these tools. There is no way I am going to waste time running
menuconfig/xconfig before shipping something.

Michael> After that, William Roadcap (not from Microsoft) wrote
Michael> Menuconfig, which is a super kludge of a language
Michael> interpreter, but wow does it have a nice curses interfaces.
Michael> Mr. Roadcap disappeared, I took responsibility, I fixed a lot
Michael> of bugs in Menuconfig, and then I semi-disappeared too.

This is of course oppinion based, I happen to like `make config' and
dislike the menu based ones.

Michael> These ad hoc script interpreters simply do not scale up to
Michael> the size of the development community. Some poor guy trying
Michael> to add something to the network drivers omits a required
Michael> keyword and instead of a nice syntax error, dozens of people
Michael> get a mysterious message. As you noticed, this happens
Michael> several times a year.

I am not arguing against the fact that a required keyword was missing,
that _is_ a bug. What I am pointing out is that it always seem to be
the menu based config tools that break things.

Michael> I believe the right fix is a real grammar, written in bison,
Michael> with real syntax checking and real error messages. I have
Michael> one in progress with a generic back-end and a curses
Michael> front-end. I've actually configured and built kernels with
Michael> it. Jim Bray is working on a gtk front-end for it.

If it is going to break the readability of the current,
.config and defconfig files then no thanks. Anything that requires
more than a standard bash shell to run should be optional.

Michael> Then I am going to try to put Menuconfig out of business.
Michael> Also Configure and Xconfig, too. Not by taking them away
Michael> from people -- but by offering something that they prefer to
Michael> run so that the old ones die from lack of users.

Note that killing things like 'make oldconfig' and 'make config' is
not going to get you a lot of friends. Menuconfig and xconfig have
always been options, not the default, I hope it stays like that.


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