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Re: [Patches] Any remaining uses of option groups?

On Thu, 13 Jun 2013, Mark Hatle wrote:

> > I suspect that option groups are an idea whose time is past: that the
> > space constraints that were relevant when option groups were added six and
> > a half years ago are not the space constraints that are relevant today,
> > that today's embedded GNU/Linux systems have vastly more software than was
> > usual then, and that any residual use for the feature is outweighed by the
> > extra complexity it introduces, the combinatorial explosion of different
> > feature combinations, mostly untested and likely broken, and the extra
> > difficulty it adds to merges from glibc.  Thus, I think it may well be
> > time to remove this feature, and with it the vast bulk of the divergence
> > from glibc.
> I think they are still useful, but I agree.  The usage of them is diminishing

You're saying you agree that the cost now outweighs the benefit and it's 
time to remove the feature (whether before 2.18, or after 2.18 branches) 
rather than to attempt to get some form of it into glibc?

> > If you care about some some or all of the residual areas of difference, I
> > strongly encourage you to join in the process of merging patches to glibc
> > so the areas you care about cease to be differences between the two trees
> > at all and the separate tree can be made obsolete for you.  Active glibc
> > development means that differences between the two trees are quite likely
> > to become bitrotten in EGLIBC over time without someone actively watching
> > them and testing in those areas.
> The two patches I care about right now (that I'm aware of) are the option
> groups and the 'ldconfig'/'ldd' to not require bash.  For the former, I don't
> have much insight into how invasive they are.  For the later, the patches were
> submitted -- and I know there is a pending action to get these submitted to
> the regular glibc group.  I believe the only thing preventing it right now is
> some type of copyright assignment.

The option groups are by far the most invasive change of the 17 listed 
areas of difference.  (Some cross-localedef changes are quite invasive ... 
there I wonder if the support for non-glibc hosts or hosts with too-old 
glibc could be killed, replacing the special cross-localedef build with 
the ability to do a normal native glibc build that produces a localedef 
binary that can also build locales for other systems.)  For ldd, we need 
P. J. McDermott to complete the copyright assignment process for the 
patches posted to libc-alpha in November 2012; getting that sorted out 
should allow making progress on eliminating ldd as an area of divergence.

Joseph S. Myers
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