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Re: Proposal

On Mon, 17 Sep 2001, Neil Booth wrote:

> This is possibly a good idea.  It's a trivial patch to implement it
> (c-lex.c I think, unless Zack finally applies his number patch); a
> comment even exists in the code mentioning that it might be a future
> extension.

However, we shouldn't add it to GCC yet.  Since this feature would not
actually allow you to do something that couldn't reasonably be done before
or make it substantially simpler to do so, and since it might be
appropriate for a future version of the standard, a more appropriate
procedure would be:

* Create a patch for GCC, and the exact proposed changes to the text of
C99.  (The patch is desirable here to show implementation experience.)

* Iterate with comp.std.c about the exact semantics and the desirability
of the feature.

* In due course, when the time comes for adding new language features to
the C standard (so not for a few years yet), propose it via your National
Body for inclusion in C0X.

* Once it is in a C0X draft, then addition to GCC as part of tracking C0X
drafts (with a strong warning that any features added as part of C0X
tracking may be removed or changed without notice to keep up with changing
drafts) would be appropriate.

History shows that extensions tend to cause problems, so we should be wary
of adding it until it is in a C0X draft.

Joseph S. Myers

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