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    SubjectRe: Disgusted with kbuild developers
    Alan Cox <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>:
    > You can force a side effect in both directions. The language provides the
    > information to do that, the current -toolset- can't handle this.
    >
    > At any point you ask a question you can "wind back" and compute the set
    > of changes that are needed and re-ask only the needed questions.

    I spent over a month in early 2000 trying a similar approach. I tried it
    with CML1, and I tried it with increasingly enriched dialects of CML1
    (magic comments carrying extra semantic information, that sort of thing).

    The results were (a) ugly, and (b) broken. I struggled against this
    for a long time, because I knew what a horrible revolving bitch and
    maintaining a parallel rulebase in a new formalism was going to be.

    As you no doubt realize, the problem of deducing the forcing
    information from CMl1 markup is efectively equivalent to the problem
    of writing a mechanical CML1-to-CML2 translator. So I have a
    suggestion: if you want to prove that it's possible to extract all the
    info for side-effect forcing from CML1, do it by writing such a
    translator.

    I believe you will fail, as I did and as Jeff Garzik implicitly predicted.
    If you fail, the process will teach you what I had to learn the hard way
    two years back. If you succeed, people who are whingeing about wanting
    a bug-for-bug rulebase translation will get what they want.

    Don't tell me to do it. Been there, done that, have the battle scars.
    If there were any way I could have avoided maintaining my own rulebase,
    you better believe I'd have done it.
    --
    <a href="http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>
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