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Re: ABI demangling problems

Hi Asfand,

>I wish there was a standard C++ way of doing demangling in the official standard (C++0x perhaps?).

Depending on your viewpoint, either unfortunately (or fortunately), the official standard C++ does not address C++ ABI.

My viewpoint is that it is "unfortunately".

I presume the ISO/IEC C++ WG either thinks it is "fortunately", or that standardizing the C++ ABI is a can-of-worms that they didn't want to tackle. (I believe the various C++ compiler vendors had a strong influence in the decision to let the C++ ABI be someone elses problem, and not part of the C++ ISO 14882 standard.)

That said, there appears to be a C++ compiler vendor-level initiative of sorts to (de facto) standardize the C++ ABI. That's as "grassroots" as can be, in this situation. Don't hold your breath to await compliance from all your favorite C++ compiler vendors!

What would C++ ABI standardization compliance provide? All C++ names mangled the same way. Exception handling handled the same way. RTTI handled the same way (including POD types). All stacks (on a given architecture/OS) structured the same way. All calling conventions the same. All C++ infrastructure the same (such as initializations of statics), handled the same way. Anonymous namespaces would probably be handled the same way (and not pollute the TOC with random munged names different from compile-to-compile!). Instantiated templates would be compiler agnostic. Different pre-built binary libraries (.a, .so, .shlib, .library, .dll, .lib, whatever) would be compiler agnostic. All intrusive (in the shared header files) extensions would be strongly discouraged by the developer community at large. And that's probably just the tip of the iceberg.

I have not been following the progress of the vendor-level initiative C++ ABI de facto standard. I don't expect it to be completed and implemented within my lifetime.


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