Fwd: Re: about patch descriptions

Gerard Beekmans gerard at linuxfromscratch.org
Fri Oct 18 15:19:02 PDT 2002



----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Re: about patch descriptions
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 18:01:09 -0400
From: jsmaby at virgo.umeche.maine.edu
To: gerard at linuxfromscratch.org

> currently simply stick with "it fixes a compile problem when using this
> Glibc version or that GCC version". Yes it's vague but at least most people
> will get the idea of what's done.

The problem is that the lfs student will only be learning how to apply
 patches that they've been told to apply.  After they get into the real
 world, they can follow blfs as far as the programs it talks about, but there
 will surely be some programs they want to install that need patching, and no
 patches are available.  If people are taught how certain errors are fixed,
 they'll be able to diagnose and fix (without any real C knowledge either)
 many compile errors.

For example, in findutils (or was it fileutils), there are some prototype
mismatches, so in the patch description, say that without the patch, the
compiler will die on "Error, conflicting prototype in oldcode.c:33", or
something like that.  The error is fixed by commenting out that line in
oldcode.c.  You could delve into why "int stdfoo();" was declared in
the first place, and why it conflicts with glibc's headers, but maybe
that's just an excersize for programers and code maintainers.

In short, more info is good.  A magic patch that fixes all the problems
does not lead to learning.  It would be like giving calculators to
elementary school students learning arithmatic, and told to just press
the buttons, and the answer will magically appear.

-James

-------------------------------------------------------

-- 
Gerard Beekmans
www.linuxfromscratch.org

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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