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Re: [Qemu-trivial] [Qemu-devel] [RFC PATCH 4/4] qemu-options: Do not sho

From: Markus Armbruster
Subject: Re: [Qemu-trivial] [Qemu-devel] [RFC PATCH 4/4] qemu-options: Do not show -enable-kvm and -enable-hax in the docs anymore
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 18:02:27 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Daniel P. Berrangé <address@hidden> writes:

> On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 05:11:51PM +0200, Thomas Huth wrote:
>> On 13.06.2018 15:44, Daniel P. Berrangé wrote:
>> > On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 02:38:40PM +0100, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
>> >> On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 07:05:21AM +0200, Thomas Huth wrote:
>> >>> We've got three ways of enabling an accelerator: -machine accel=xyz,
>> >>> -accel xyz and -enable-xyz. For new QEMU users, this must be very
>> >>> confusing ("Which one do I have to use? Is there a difference between
>> >>> the options?"). While -enable-kvm was useful in the past, there is no
>> >>> real good reason for using it anymore today ("-accel kvm" is even less
>> >>> to type than "-enable-kvm"), so let's decrease the confusing amount of
>> >>> options in our documenation a little bit by removing the -enable-xyz
>> >>> here. Note that the option itself is neither removed nor marked as
>> >>> deprecated - since -enable-kvm is likely used in a lot of scripts and
>> >>> since its code is easy to maintain, we should keep it around to avoid
>> >>> to break old setups.
>> >>>
>> >>> Signed-off-by: Thomas Huth <address@hidden>
>> >>> ---
>> >>>  PS: I guess Paolo won't like this patch ... let's try it anyway ;-)
>> >>
>> >> It's widely used and we're removing the documentation for it?!  That is
>> >> likely to cause issues for new users who refer to the man page to
>> >> understand the QEMU command-lines they see online, in scripts, etc.
>> > 
>> > Agreed, this is a very bad idea. Any option that is accepted by QEMU,
>> > but not documented is a bug that must be fixed. IOW removing docs
>> > is creating bugs.
>> Not documenting unliked options that are still kept for compatibility
>> was at least a common practice in the past (see -no-kvm for example, or
>> many of those deprecated options like -net channel that have been
>> removed in the past year).

Not least because both --help output and the user manual are hard enough
to read without them droning about umpteen deprecated things you could
also use, but shouldn't.

> If we're planning to deprecate & then delete an option, then I
> don't mind if docs are dropped,

De-documenting deprecated options that warn "use this instead" feels
like a no-brainer to me.

>                                 but IIUC, in this case we're
> not doing that - the option will essentially exist forever.

Deprecated option: something we don't want users to use, and intend to
remove.  It should warn on use, pointing to the replacement, and
documentation should no longer cover it.

Convenience option: something we consider perfectly fine to use, say
because it's much less typing.  Document normally.

Legacy option: something in between, i.e. we don't intend to remove it,
but we don't want to advertise it, either.  The less of those we have,
the happier I am.  Their documentation to be shunted out of the way, so
users can find it if they need it, but won't find it *first* when they
look for how to do something.

>> > If we want to help users understand why we have -enable-kvm, just
>> > make the docs say that it is syntactic for '-machine accel=kvm'.
>> > Users can decide for themselves whether they want to switch to
>> > the more verbose way or not
>> Uh, well, in this case "-enable-kvm" is already the more verbose way:
>> "-accel kvm" is shorter :-)
> If I'm a user looking for how to enable KVM, then -enable-kvm is the
> one I'll pick because of the obvious name.

Why does a user have to know how to enable KVM?  Oh, because our default
is "run this guest much slower than necessary".  Great!

By "pick", I guess you mean "pick out of output of --help".  If the only
occurence of KVM there was --accel kvm, I trust the user would pick that
without any trouble.  Less confusing than what we have now, I'd say.

>> It's just a big mess: We've got -enable-kvm, -enable-hax, but there is
>> no -enable-hvf, -enable-whpx or -enable-xen option. And to force TCG
>> mode, you've got to use -no-kvm ... honestly, if I were a new user, I'd
>> simply say: WTF!?!
> Personally I'd just clean that up by just adding the missing
> -enable-xxx options for consistency :-)

I disagree.  The way to a saner QEMU CLI is reducing crap, not adding
crap for consistency.

>> But ok, since -enable-kvm has such a big tradition and is used in a lot
>> of examples out there, it's likely really better if we keep it in the
>> documentation. But we should either move it to a "obsolete option"
>> chapter, or update the current documentation with some words like
>> "obsolete" or "legacy" (to make it clear that nobody gets the idea of
>> introducing -enable-hvf or other similar options in the future).
>> And what about -enable-hax? That hardly has any tradtion. Should we
>> maybe even deprecate it?

I would, but it's not a hill I'm prepared to die on.

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