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SubjectRe: Missing help entries in 2.4.6pre5
David Woodhouse <>:
> The irritation only happened because you seem to have ignored the remainder
> of my original response and patch - which explained the status of the Ocelot
> and XScale options, and which removed the other offending option from
> completely. I'd removed the corresponding code before syncing up
> with Linus because it wanted rewriting before it could be submitted, just
> forgotten to remove the config option for it.

No, I remember that. But if I don't remind lkml periodically that there is
work not done on this, I fear it will slide to the bottom of peoples'
to-do lists and fall off. That's how we got to the distressing state where
about 1/4 of the configuration symbols weren't documented.

I solved this problem by (a) working like a dog at writing help
entries myself, and (b) using a combination of supplication and
irritation on configuration maintainers to get them to hold up their
end. This was effective; we've gone from 537 undocumented symbols to 2.

In any situation like this, supplication tends to work well initially;
you catch the cooperative people who would almost have done what you
needed anyway, which is usually 60% or more of them. As you get
towards the bottom of the barrel, (subtle) irritation becomes more
important. While it isn't *necessarily* the case that the last few
holdouts won't move unless you're a persistent pain in the butt about
it, that's the smart way to bet.

(I've done jobs like this before. Couldn't you tell? :-))

> I'm already rejecting patches which add new config entries but don't add
> the corresponding help text. What more do you want?

That's very good, and I thank you for that policy. From *you*, I don't
want anything else. From the person(s) reponsible for the missing symbols,
I want documentation. The problem is that, lacking a detailed database
of who is responsible for what, I don't know how to prod each of the
people I really want to supplicate/irritate without having you see it
<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic
weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple
weapon -- so long as there is no answer to it -- gives claws to the
-- George Orwell, "You and the Atom Bomb", 1945
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