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    SubjectRe: CONFIG_SMP
    Hi David,

    At this point, I think it's too late for 2.2. CONFIG_SMP is very well
    tested on the i386 architecture. The other major SMP architectures are
    sparc and sparc64. CONFIG_SMP is not tested on these architectures
    because the base 2.1.XX does not build on these architectures.

    When 2.3 work begins, I am planning to re-work the patch into two
    separate patches. The first patch will have the minimal Makefile
    changes. It will also export the legacy __SMP__ symbol to make
    life easier for the other arch source trees. As soon as the first
    patch goes in, users will see CONFIG_SMP in the configuration menu
    and it will work correctly and they will be happy.

    The second patch, or group of patches, will systematically change __SMP__
    to CONFIG_SMP in all the *.h and *.c files. That way I can work through
    the arch maintainers and the patches can flow more gracefully.

    This is all 2.3 work, it's too late for 2.2, unless Linus speaks up
    and says he wants to make a special exception.

    Linus had a reason for making it like this. The reason is: if CONFIG_SMP
    is an option, almost every file will #include <linux/config.h>,
    so changing any configuration option would force a kernel rebuild.
    That reason is obsolete now for two reasons: (1) about 90% of the source
    files depend on config.h already anyways; and (2) the 2.1.XX Smart Config
    feature removes that rebuilding work.

    Last year I saw a ZD-NET review that said configuring an SMP system is
    a long difficult poorly documented process, which it is, especially for
    people who are coming from other operating systems and aren't already
    familiar with the process. I agree with this review and in 2.3 I want
    to move all the Makefile-resident options should into the normal
    configuration process.

    Michael Elizabeth Chastain
    <mailto:mec@shout.net>
    "love without fear"

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