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    SubjectRe: bug in 2.3.18ac9 net/Config.in
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    >>>>> "Michael" == Michael Elizabeth Chastain <mec@shout.net> 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
    Config.in file, however it annoys me to see over and over again how
    the Config.in 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 Config.in 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.in,
    .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.

    Jes

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