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Re: Do we really need a CPP manual?


On 12/16/2016 08:45 AM, Joseph Myers wrote:
On Thu, 15 Dec 2016, Sandra Loosemore wrote:

Looking at the structure of the whole manual, though, I see that most of
it is in fact a tutorial on how to use the preprocessor language, like
you would find in a C programming book.  Is this a useful thing for us
to be providing? Offhand I am not sure how up-to-date this material is
or how much of a maintenance burden it is, but it seems peculiar to be
providing such extensive introductory material on the preprocessor when
we don't do that for the C or C++ languages; we assume that people
already know how to program.

There's a "GNU C Reference Manual" for the C language; I've no idea if
it's any good.

https://www.gnu.org/software/gnu-c-manual/

It says "Although normally described in a C language manual, the GNU C
preprocessor has been thoroughly documented in The C Preprocessor, a
separate manual which covers preprocessing for C, C++, and Objective-C
programs, so it is not included here.".

So that manual might be a plausible place for documentation of the
preprocessor language as a whole (having excluded such documentation on
the basis of it being covered in the CPP manual), although since it's
strictly a reference that doesn't answer what to do with tutorial content.

This document also looks very bit-rotten: "By default, GCC will compile code as C89 plus GNU-specific extensions. [...]"

TBH, I have no interest in rewriting/maintaining C language manuals or tutorials. :-( Given that there's resistance to removing the existing CPP tutorial material entirely, I'll try to come up with some other plan for leaving that part of the CPP manual as-is while addressing the bit-rot in the options, etc, probably involving more/better use of shared include files.

-Sandra


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