Re: [KBUILD] Re: Announcing CML2, a replacement for the kbuild system

From: Eric S. Raymond (
Date: Fri May 26 2000 - 20:52:22 EST

Alexander Viro <>:
> > One of the purposes of making the CML2 language declarative rather than
> > imperative is to make all the dependencies explicit, rather than implied
> > by control structure as in CML1. Because that's so, over time it will
> > be possible to improve the deductive algoritms in the front end without
> > having to endure another replacement of the language.
> Sigh... I suspect that it's the real reason why your approach doesn't make
> sense to me - you are developing complex stuff that works for FUBAR domain
> instead of getting the domain fixed.

One war at a time, Alex. If we try to replace the whole Makefile system
at the same time that we clean up the Augean stable that is CML1 it will
create havoc.
> Try to grep the tree for CONFIG_FOO - you'll see that most of the places
> that care are in Makefiles. 99% of the rest is not needed - check the
> history of fs/filesystems.c for example.

You may be right. But CML2 is simpler than what it's replacing by a
large (and readily measurable) factor, so it's a net win to make that
change anyway. *Then* we can go clean up the rest of the build

> IOW, instead of developing clever ways to handle complex dependencies
> we'ld be better off simplifying them and leaving the rest to make(1)...

If that were possible, I have little doubt it would have been done already.
But I tell you what. After phase II, when we fix the rest of the build
system, I promise to seriously re-examine the question of whether CML2
is really needed. If it isn't, we'll throw it away.

I mean that. There are other uses for CML2 -- VA wants me to make it
into a product configurator, among other things -- so the work won't
have been wasted even if we throw away the kernel rulebase.

		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. -- Cesare Beccaria, as quoted by Thomas Jefferson's Commonplace book

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