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Re: Target-specific Front-Ends? (Was: front end changes for altivec)

Ziemowit Laski wrote:

> On Tuesday, November 27, 2001, at 05:36 , Per Bothner wrote:
>> Why would we want to put into our compiler a TARGET-SPECIFIC syntactic
>> extension to handle the rather generic concept of a fixed-size 
>> vector? And why
>> would we want to add a configure mechanism to do that?
> Two words: LEGACY CODE.

I know of no GNU or otherwise Free or open-source software that uses
these extensions.  So the problem of legacy code is not a GNU problem.
Of course we want gcc to be generally useful, but it cannot be all things
to all people.

People who have code that uses these extensions can use a legacy compiler.
Or they can pay somebody (Apple or Red Hat, for example) to maintain a
compiler that supports the legacy code.

Their legacy code is not our problem - but it will be our problem if we 
a kludgy extension into our sources.

> Well, we do have a local tree, and it is a royal pain to maintain in sync
> with the FSF, as Stan can attest. :)  In making my proposal, I assumed
> (perhaps wrongly) that a lot of other organizations are in the same 
> boat --
> i.e., they have local modifications that they wouldn't mind putting into
> the FSF

I'm sure a lot of companies are in the same boat.  That is their problem.
In principle we encourage them to merge in local modifications *if*
they are clean and generally useful.  Even more, we encourage people
to think about merging and design and discussing features with the gcc
maintainers *before* they start implementing.

    --Per Bothner

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