Why not change all printk to a message number and parameters, and bundle all messages into the source tree only? Waaaay back in mainframe days, you had to look up errors by number for just that reason. I realize it wouldn't be as handy, but for the ones that only developers care about, wouldn't that be good enough? I suppose you could have a build-time option to include the full text, but wouldn't most production system be better off with just a message ID?
I don't think managing message IDs would be tricky. They only have to be unique, not consecutive. Never reuse old obsolete numbers. 32 bits surely ought to be enough, a considerable shrinkage.
Well, it's just an idea. Please don't flame me!
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