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Re: PATCH: Support for Pascal strings -- Take 2


Mark Mitchell wrote:
> 
> --On Friday, June 29, 2001 12:10:22 PM -0700 Ziemowit Laski
> <zlaski@apple.com> wrote:
> 
> > Ok, here is a new, "leaner and meaner" version of the Pascal string patch
> > that I submitted on June 15.  Per Zack Weinberg's suggestion, I removed
> > all modifications in cpplib sources, and moved \p handling to
> > lex_string(). Also, I've added a blurb in extend.texi describing the
> > usage of Pascal literals.
> 
> I am not in favor on a technical basis.  Too much complication for too
> little win.
> 
> Stan often points out that there are political issues here, too, regarding
> Apple maintaining it's own version of GCC.  However, if there is going
> to be an FSF mandate to incorporate Apple changes for the sake of
> eliminating the Apple fork, then we need to get that message from the FSF;
> it's not for us to judge as GCC maintainers.

I've now thought about this, and I don't want to try to get an FSF
mandate of this sort.  Suppose I manage to buttonhole RMS and feed him
lots of tabouleh with parsley :-) or whatever, and convince him that
accepting technically-undesirable Apple changes is a Good Idea.  Then
from the viewpoint of other GCC developers, I've basically bypassed
the technical evaluation process in order to get bad stuff into the
compiler.  Not only does this have the potential to cause additional
unnecessary strife in our little community, but it's also a slippery
slope to an undemocratic process, where technical quality is secondary
to political wheeling-dealing.  Since I really believe that the current
process is basically the right way to go, I don't want to undermine it
for some sort of small temporary advantage.  I've already made the
compelling arguments to accept this extension, so if they're not enough
to persuade any GCC maintainer, then so be it.

The truth of the matter is that all the discussion and rewriting
of this patch has already well exceeded the time that has gone into
maintaining it in Apple's GCC over the past several years.  Since
we still don't have either an unconditional rejection or a conditional
acceptance, it's becoming a time sink that is preventing us from
working on more important things.  So I'm going to recommend that Zem
withdraw this patch (I can hear Zem saying "thank you thank you thank
you" in the background there :-) ), and in the interests of keeping
everybody focused on GCC's important issues, I'm also going to reconsider
our policy that every Apple addition be submitted for FSF GCC.

Stan


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