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SubjectRe: Aunt Tillie builds a kernel (was Re: ISA hardware discovery -- the elegant solution)
Followup to:  <>
By author: Bruce Harada <>
In newsgroup:
> On Mon, 14 Jan 2002 17:34:23 -0500
> "Eric S. Raymond" <> wrote:
> > Therefore I try to stay focused on Aunt Tillie even though I know
> > that you are objectively correct and her class of user is likely
> > not to build kernels regularly for some years yet.
> Change that last line to read "her class of user will never build kernels ever,
> and would be aggressively disinterested in the possibility of doing so", and
> you might be closer to the truth.
> Aunt Tillie just DOESN'T CARE, OK? She can talk to her vendor if she gets
> worried about whether her kernel supports the Flangelistic2000 SuperDoodad.

I would make this an even stronger statement:

We (yes, we) should make sure Aunt Tillie doesn't ever have to build a
kernel, ever. If we have designed our kernels so that:

a) A distributor needs more than a handful of kernels (UP, SMP,
SMP+PAE, perhaps CMOV or not) on their install CD, or;

b) It's not possible to add a driver without rebuilding the kernel, or;

c) It's not possible to autodetect the module set needed AT RUNTIME;

then we have screwed up. Kernel compile autoconfiguration is a red
herring in that respect; I would argue if anything it hides the real
issue. We're currently crappy at both (b) and (c) -- a monolithic
kernel does (c) a lot better, and that is quite frankly unacceptable.

<> at work, <> in private!
"Unix gives you enough rope to shoot yourself in the foot." <>
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