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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Documentation/Changes: phase out Changes file that hasn't changed
On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 7:10 PM, Rob Landley <> wrote:
> On 07/23/2013 05:57:15 PM, Aaro Koskinen wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 01:12:55AM -0400, Paul Gortmaker wrote:
>> > Looking at the bigger picture, the need for this file has simply
>> > passed. It was trying to detail required versions of userspace
>> > packages, in order to cater to hand-crafted systems. But now the
>> > majority of users get their userspace all at once from some kind
>> > of distro, and we are probably a lot more serious about avoiding
>> > breaking userspace than we were a dozen years ago.
> You're right, there's no such thing as "embedded linux", nobody creates
> their own hand-crafted systems, or assembles cross-compiling environments to
> target hardware other than x86. That's crazy talk.

Aside from the obvious sarcasm, what are you trying to say here? The above
seems like a classic strawman argument to me, since _none_ of the above are
things that I have said or implied. And if pressed, I can give many counter
examples to drive that point home. Do I really need to?

>> Is there any file describing the needed tools (and minimum versions) to
>> _build_ the kernel? I agree that trying to describe such for the run-time
>> userspace does not belong to the kernel tree, but the required/supported
>> versions of build tools should be still maybe documented...
> Documentation/changes _is_ the file that describes the kernel's build-time
> prerequisites. It hasn't changed in a while because we've been maintaining
> backwards compatability, especially for several non-x86 targets where it's
> fiddly to get newer toolchain versions.

See the mail from hpa --- what may be the "latest" for some less common
arch may also be simply too old for another arch. Hence this kind of stuff
needs to be in an arch specific file, let alone not in a mis-named "Changes"

> (Personally I use the last GPLv2 releases of each package, so gcc 4.2.1,
> binutils 2.17, make 3.81, and busybox.)

And this works on every arch that linux supports?

> I agree squashfs and such aren't build time prerequisites. It might make
> more sense to move some of these to menuconfig text for the appropriate
> option. But that's not the same as not documenting it at all, and "this
> document has been true for a long time and remains true, therefore we must
> discard it" strikes me as a really weird document retention criteria.

Again, a strawman. You suggest I said the above with your "this document..."
quote, but I never said anything like that, and it totally mis-represents why I
suggested we should remove it.

Lets move forward from here and not descend into arguing over details.

To that end, if we create a required-packages.txt that covers the generic
stuff like "make" version, and then the arch specific stuff (in arch specific
files) for key stuff like gcc version, and gas version, etc, would you not
see that as an improvement over what is currently in the mis-named and
largely abandoned Changes file?


> Rob--
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