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On Thu, 3 May 2001, Eric S. Raymond wrote:

> In many cases there is no way to define "upper" or "lower". (X86 and
> SMP) implies RTC!=n is actually a good example. Here's where they fit
> in the tree:
> main 'Linux Kernel Configuration System'
> arch 'Processor type'
> X86 'Intel or compatible 80x86 processor'
> generic 'Architecture-independent feature selections'
> SMP 'Symmetric Multi-Processing support'
> archihacks 'Architecture-specific hardware hacks'
> RTC 'Enhanced Real Time Clock Support'
> Yes, that's right -- they're all at the same level. OK, X86 is frozen
> by hypothesis. So now give me a rule for telling which of SMP and RTC
> is "superior". Note that in order to make the rule usable by the
> deducer, it can't know anything about the semantics of the symbols.

Doesn't 'make config' still ask the user about config options one-by-one?
(If not you can ignore the rest of this, I'd test it but I don't have time
to mess with python2 right now).

Then it must somehow handle me trying to (incorrectly) answer X86=Y,
SMP=Y, RTC=N in some order?

The old oldconfig uses the existing .config as default answers, not as
initial state (right?). If an answer is missing or invalid then the user
gets a question. It never looks at all options at once. Doesn't that work

When running make config I am guessing that this would happen:

The first symbol hit may be X86. The config-input has Y here, so it is
answered Y (I assume that is valid, otherwise do whatever the tty version
would normally do).

The second symbol would be SMP, the config-input says Y so it is set.
Since this requires RTC also I don't know what the tty version does, but
it must allow me to set it somehow.

The third symbol is RTC, the config-input has no defined value but it is
required by other settings so we ask. Possibly this is done automatically
right after setting SMP to Y.

There would be no 3^n problem as there is a defined order between the
symbols (whatever order 'make config' wants answers on an empty initial

Perhaps I have missed something, but I really prefer the old oldconfig
over the new oldconfig.


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