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SubjectRe: [ANNOUNCE] GSoC project: Improving kconfig using a SAT solver
On Mon, 17 May 2010, James Bottomley wrote:

> On Mon, 2010-05-17 at 16:21 +0200, Vegard Nossum wrote:
>> On 17 May 2010 15:21, James Bottomley
>> Even if the problem is different from zypper's, it is also here
>> possible to get an unsatisfiable instance. You are right that, yes,
>> the kconfig files on their own should always be satisfiable. But
>> that's before the user has made any choices at all. An example of an
>> unsatisfiable instance would be one where the user demands that 1.
>> some USB driver is enabled, while 2. USB support in general is
>> disabled.
> Actually, these are two separate problems. The first is basic
> consistency within the Kconfig subsytstem (something that select
> currently damages for us). The second is what to present to the user,
> which is where the inception of the select problem came from. A user
> doesn't really want to know that USB device X depends on usb storage,
> SCSI and a raft of other things ... they just want it to configure a
> kernel that supports their device. In particular, we don't want to
> present every possible option to users and then try to work out a
> solution, we really need guided configuration (which, in some measure,
> is what we have today: if you don't select general USB, you won't see
> any USB drivers. Or more importantly, if you select an Adaptec SCSI
> card, we just enable whichever transport library it needs).

There are two modes people can be in when configuring a kernel.

1. I want to configure a kernel to support my hardware, enable anything
else needed to make it work.

2. I really care about having a small kernel, don't enable anything I have
disabled (but help me figure out why something I want isn't available)

I don't think that hiding hardware from the user is ever the best thing to
do. for approach #1 you obviously don't want to hide anything, but even
for approach #2, someone may not realize that by disabling one option they
are making it impossible to support something, and as someone who spent a
bunch of time hunting through config to find options that I ended up
finding were not available without enabling something else, I much prefer
to see the option, but see it disabled rather than not being sure if it
should be there, or somewhere else in the config.

David Lang

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