Hi Bernd,

general question: How much do we want to know about a kernel
without booting it? Because a lot of the information below is
available AFTER booting the kernel, be it by human reading of
the version description string (21.33xx) or by querying some
int 21 functions to check FAT32 support or revision number.

I agree that it would be good to have some thing visible in
an easy to access area. Because we would probably use tools
like SYS CONFIG to show it,  the uncompressed CONFIG kernel
data area is a nice place, but we do not have to use text.

Instead of K 2040 D 2011-07-31 C 32 F 16 B or the shorter
K 40 11-07-31 0 6 W, the encoded data could be for example
byte:40 dosdateword:2011-07-31 and one byte-of-bits: FAT32
no, 386+ no, upx yes, cross-compile no, borland no, other
reserved features no (actually I think only the first two
feature flags are REALLY interesting at the moment).

This encoding only needs FOUR bytes (1 byte, 1 word and
some bits) to encode a machine readable binary form :-)

We can offer a simple Perl script or similar for those who
want to know which kernel binary they have but who cannot
does not run in their operating system.

I think we should not try to put a version string in the
config area which would be visible in a text editor. All
suggestions shown below use cryptic text anyway and they
are even MEANT to be more machine- than human-readable.

In short, I suggest a small, binary version encoding :-)


>>> "K2040D2011-07-31C32F16B"
>>> "K2041D2011-08-31C16F28W"
>>> C is CPU (16 aka 8086 or 32 AKA 80386)
>>> F is FAT (16 or 28)
>>> W and B are compilers (or is Boreland now dead ?).


> In typical pre-Y2K-style I'd suggest:
> K4011073106W
> K  --> kernel
> 40 --> kernel 2040 (to 2099)
> 11 --> year (to 99 so 2099)
> 07 --> month (01..12)
> 31 --> day (01..29/30/31)
>   0 --> 086+ (valid options [0,3] for 086+/386+)
>   6 --> FAT12/FAT16 (valid options [6,7] for filesystems that MSDOS 
> 6/7
> understand)
> W --> Watcom

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