[Buildroot] [RFC 1/1] toolchain-external/Config.in: Allow to select custom external-toolchain package

Yann E. MORIN yann.morin.1998 at free.fr
Mon Apr 15 17:15:09 UTC 2019

Arnout, Thomas, All,

On 2019-04-15 10:54 +0200, Arnout Vandecappelle spake thusly:
> On 15/04/2019 08:57, Thomas Petazzoni wrote:
> > On Sun, 14 Apr 2019 23:39:38 +0200
> >>> +	bool "Other"
> >>> +	help
> >>> +	  Use this option to use a external toolchain from custom package
> >>> +	  (e.g. in external project).  
> >>
> >>  So, the idea is to extend the choice with toolchains that come from
> >> BR2_EXTERNAL and that you can't select here, right? And you need something like
> >> that because it's a choice, and there's no way to extend the choice in a
> >> different Kconfig file.
> >>
> >>  I think this is a worthwhile idea, so I'd like to work it out a little more...
> >> Adding Yann in Cc since he like that kind of external craziness :-)

Aha! It's bneen quite a long time I've thought about doing exactly that,
but I always postponed it because, well, 24h in a day...

> >>  If kept like this, then I think you should make it depend on a new (blind)
> >> BR2_TOOLCHAIN_EXTERNAL_OTHER_AVAILABLE option, and that an external toolchain
> >> package should select that option. This way, the option is only available if
> >> your external tree actually makes one available.
>  I forgot to mention how this option should be constructed... In the
> toolchain-external's Config.in, you would have
> 	bool
>  And in the br2-external Config.in:
> 	bool
> 	default y
> (Kconfig language allows the same symbol to be declared in different places, as
> long as the definitions are consistent.)

I was thinking about an alternative, instead, where all the external
toolchains are gathered in that choice.

If we go with your solution, then a br2-external may have its own
choice, e.g.:

        bool "my toolchains"
    config BR2_MINE_TC_1
        bool "mine-1"
    config BR2_MINE_TC_2
        bool "mine-2"

And a second br2-external would have something similar:

        bool "your toolchains"
    config BR2_YOURS_TC_1
        bool "yours-1"
    config BR2_YOURS_TC_2
        bool "yours-2"

Since it is possible to use those two br2-external trees at once, there
would obviously be a problem here, with two toolchians being selected...

The proposal from Vadym would not even allow that either, because the
choices would have to be both guarded by the same depends on
BR2_TOOLCHAIN_EXTERNAL_OTHER, so we'd be back to square one anyway...

The only way to make this workable is to gather all the toolchain
symbols under a unique choice.

> >>  Also, it should be documented in docs/manual/customize-outside-br.txt.
> >>
> >>  However, it's still pretty inconvenient for the user. So perhaps we could
> >> explicitly extend the external infra to generate a .br2-external.toolchain.in
> >> that is included from here. This file would be populated based on the file
> >> toolchain/Config.in in the external.
> >>
> >>  Thomas, is that idea over-engineered?
> > 
> > It is over-engineered, but there is not much choice if we want to allow
> > implementing external toolchains in BR2_EXTERNAL, which would
> > definitely be useful.
> > 
> > The downside of Vadim's approach is that it limits the BR2_EXTERNAL to
> > implementing only one external toolchain, since it's only adding one
> > entry to the choice. Your approach would be more flexible.
>  Well, you *can* still add a second choice in the br2-external. But then having
> multiple options from multiple br2-externals becomes difficult...


I don't see any other way than to aggregate all into the same choice...

The reason why I did not yet work or provide this, is because I would
also like to have a generic way to doing such a thing.

For example, we have a choice for libjpeg, but it does not allow for a
custom implementation to be provided by a br2external tree, with some
vendors having an API-compatible libjpeg that is optimised for their
SoC for example.

And providing something generic is far from trivial... :-(

However, as a first step, having something ad-hoc for the toolchains
would be a net improvement nonetheless...

Yann E. MORIN.

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