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Re: [PATCH] Avoid invoking ranlib on libbackend.a

On 17/07/16 15:43, Patrick Palka wrote:
On Sun, Jul 17, 2016 at 9:15 AM, David Edelsohn <> wrote:
You repeatedly are making bad assumptions and assertions without
having studied much about GCC. You assume that GNU ar is the only
archiver in use. You propose removing libbackend.a without having
investigated when it was introduced and why.

Your patches would be a lot more compelling if you invested the time
to learn some context.

The only patch I officially proposed is the one elides the invocation
of ranlib if the current ar is GNU ar (thanks to those who kindly
mentioned that other ar's are supported).  Do you have any comments
about this patch?

And you're right.  I am sorry for suggesting ways to improve rebuild
times without first uncovering the undocumented intricacies of the
build system.  Shame on me!

"Look at the bright side. Technical discussions sometimes appear harsh and dry to newcomers. Moreover, negative opinions are more vocal than positive ones. Thus, something that most people think is a good idea or they are indifferent may only get negative feedback from a few. Take this into account when judging how other people evaluate your ideas."
Point 3

(I will extend the above with a few sentences about how tone is lost in email and one should always interpret criticism in the most friendly manner. Perhaps also extract anything useful from:

For what is worth, I commend your attempts at improving build times and I don't think you need to be sorry. On the other hand, it is to be expected that people may not welcome with open arms suggestions that may break GCC for them.

You are certainly right that there is a lot of undocumented/cargo-cult stuff in GCC. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that once the "newbie" becomes an "expert", the desire to document evaporates (I'm guilty also of this).

Why not get your "elide ranlib if possible" patch in first? Then, start a different discussion about whether libbackend.a is really necessary. I would actually prefer if GCC built some parts as libraries that could be re-used by other free-software projects rather than as a work-around:

Happy hacking,


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