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SubjectRe: Perl in the toolchain
> The fact of the matter is, the area of build tools matters most to 
> people who cross-compile their kernels, because every tool is generally
> hand-built rather than automatically installed on their Linux system.
> For this audience, as well as the typical non-cross-compiling kernel
> developer, Perl is on their system.

Sure, but I want to self-host, too. I can cross-compile kernels,
but cross-compiling modutils is an insane pain, for example,
so to this day I never ever used Rusty's new shiny module loader,
and thus I never got around to fix dots in export symbols.

For the record, the userland which I posess does have a somewhat
working Perl RPM, which originates from Red Hat 5.2, I believe.
So, I cannot invoke "missing perl" argument in good conscience.
However, I shudder to think what happens if I need to rebuild it
for some reason.

> However, that fact is less significant than the more basic and core
> argument:
> klibc uses perl for text munging. i.e. one of Perl's acknowledged
> strengths. This is not a case of choosing a favorite script language,
> but instead a case of choosing "the right tool for the job." Regardless
> of whether you think Perl is line noise :) or not, from a technical
> basis Perl is clearly superior to sed+awk in this case.

I hear you. Actually, your argument comes in force only after a
non-trivial amount of mungling, but to slay your argument
I need to see your klibc stuff first.

> Adding some final thoughts, perl is already used in nooks and crannies
> in the build system. Instead of being motivated to stomp those out,
> please [respectfully!] consider that the Perl scripts might be there
> because an evaluation of the best tool for the job took place.
> in drivers/scsi is a favorite example here.

There's also a subject of a skillset. I know nil about Perl.
(ok, I hacked sirc long ago. I don't think it counts.)
This means I cannot debug and fix your text mungling.
Perl not only has a reputation for being perfect for text
mungling, but also a reputation for being unreadable by anyone
but the author (due to the fact that the same thing can be
expressed in a half a dozen different ways - so says Larry Wall
himself in my Perl book (ok, he actually makes strict subsets
of knowledge, which helps very little in my example ("Programming
Perl", p33 - What You Don't Know...))).

-- Pete
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