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SubjectRe: [2.6 patch] let broken drivers depend on BROKEN{,ON_SMP}
On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 10:11:17AM +0100, John Bradford wrote:
> > * Driver does not work, and is thus disabled. If it is not
> > fixed in the near future, it will be considered to be
> > OBSOLETE as well.
> >
> Please do _NOT_ do this - there is a far more important and worthwhile
> reason to have a CONFIG_BROKEN than to simply save the few minutes of
> inconvenience that including a non-compiling option in a kernel build
> causes.
> Imagine the situation where a driver such as a SCSI driver builds
> successfully, but it silently corrupts data under certain, (possibly
> rare), circumstances.
> In that case, it's important to warn people that it's broken, because
> it's not necessarily obvious, and could case significant data loss.
> If something doesn't compile, it already gives you an error message.
> The only problem is a few minutes of wasted time.

You forget one important thing:
If a _user_ of a stable kernel notices "it doesn't even compile" this
gives a very bad impression of the quality of the Linux kernel.

> > * Driver works on uniprocessor but not on SMP and is thus
> > disabled when compiling for SMP. It is assumed that the
> > driver will be fixed for SMP if relevant.
> >
> Please _don't_ do this either. It implies that if
> CONFIG_BROKEN_ON_SMP isn't set, then it's SMP safe - a lot of drivers
> will NOT have been tested on SMP, so it's a bad thing to assume that
> is the case.

My patch adds BROKEN_ON_SMP only to drivers that don't compile, but if a
driver causes e.g. data corruption on SMP I don't see a reason against
letting it depend on BROKEN_ON_SMP.

> John.



"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
"Only a promise," Lao Er said.
Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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