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Re: Objective-C bugs and GCC releases


Zack Weinberg wrote:
Alex Perez <aperez@student.santarosa.edu> writes:


Mark Mitchell wrote:

Gregory John Casamento wrote:

It is my opinion that the policy of allowing ObjC to be broken in
releases of GCC should stop.

That's up to the Objective-C maintainers to ensure. As the RM, I will not hold up an otherwise good release because of Objective-C breakage.


That's the thing, though...as far as I understand, and please, correct me if I am wrong, the GNUstep folk, developers, and community are not responsible for this lovely breakage. You're holding GNUstep, a GNU project, hostage to an outside corporation, Apple Computer, who surely has its own agenda and timetable.


No, see, look.

This bug is only going to get fixed if someone decides to volunteer
their time and effort fixing it.

Exactly.


In fairness, the Steering Committe did however make a conscious decision not to designate Objective-C a release-critical language. That is because there are more features in GCC (support for languages, chips, optimizations, etc.) than there are people to maintain them all -- especially to keep them all working all the time in all possible cross products. So, the SC makes decisions about what to make release-critical. Things that aren't release-critical can still be fixed -- but it's just not a priority for the release.

In this case, the SC decided that C and C++ would be the only release-critical languages. That's not an indication that Ada, Fortran, Java, and Objective-C are inferior languages in the eyes of the SC; it's merely a reflection of the fact that the focus of the SC, as an agent of the FSF, is on making the GCC a great compiler for the GNU system and the Linux kernel most of which is written in C and C++. Furthermore, the focus on C and C++ reflects the desires of the various Linux and other free operating system distributors.

As the RM, I'd be very pleased to see this, and other problems, fixed -- but I will not hold up the release merely because of this bug. As CodeSourcery has customers that use Objective-C, I'd love to see their needs met. So, I'm all for fixing the bug -- but not at the expense of C or C++.

I would suggest that if you are deeply interested in fixing this problem you do what I did when I was deeply interested in having a better free C++ compiler: contribute to the development of the front end you care about. Or, look at the GNU Services directory to find someone you might be able to hire to help.

Yours,

--
Mark Mitchell
CodeSourcery, LLC
mark@codesourcery.com
(916) 791-8304


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