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Re: [Ada] Patch to fix bug reporting instructions (3.1 branch)

Joseph Myers writes:

> Again, RMS has stated that it's important for GNU Ada to support
> GNU/Linux well.

Right, but to do that, any approach that results in a working GNU Ada
that does not require proprietary code should be acceptable.

Remember that only a very tiny fraction of GNU/Linux users build their
own compilers from source; the vast majority just download .rpms or .debs.

> Could the SC please consider this issue?  The questions for consideration
> are:

I'm just one SC member, but I don't see any problems that should require
the SC to put pressure on the Ada developers to do something different.
It's better that the build requirements be as loose as possible, but it's
also better to ship something that works than delay shipping until an
almost un-meetable requirement is met.

> * How far should GCC go in detecting a broken or too old GNAT installation
> at configure time, and disabling the Ada front end if the GNAT
> installation is unsuitable for building it?

I think that it suffices to provide accurate installation instructions.
It's too hard to produce software that detects and behaves correctly in
any possible situation.  That is, if someone follows the instructions they
get a working compiler.

> * Should bootstrapping the Ada front end in GCC 3.1.x be supported using
> previous installations of GNU Ada that do not use ACT-provided binaries?

Only to the extent that the work is already done.  The release date for
3.1 is already here.  Yes, we are holding things up because of a couple of
release-critical bugs, but it's well past time to be making major changes.

> For example, those included in GNU/Linux distributions, or where someone
> has started from the ACT binaries for some version of GNAT and used them
> to rebuild from sources that same version of GNAT (possibly then building
> a series of subsequent versions of GNAT, each from sources, using the
> installed previous version)?  If so, should this be supported where the C
> and Ada compilers are different (since 2.8.1 is reported not to work well
> for C with current glibc)?

I see no reason to impose such requirements.

> The disagreement seems to be largely between the ACT developers used to
> one fairly uniform method of development (current ACT GNAT installed as C
> and Ada compiler, used to build next version) and the other (mainly
> non-Ada) developers from the wider free software world,

Well, maybe, but it seems that the non-ACT Ada developers are OK with the
current situation.  Yes, it is not ideal, but this is the first time
Ada has been integrated with GCC.  It's only reasonable to expect some

> One question that may need to be considered in future - and also may be of
> importance to GNU/Linux distributors, though it would be of less
> importance if every version were uniformly better and more stable than the
> last, so GNU/Linux distributors had no occasion to stick to old versions -
> is whether GCC 3.1 should be supported to bootstrap Ada in GCC 3.3?

I would prefer it if this were true (that GCC 3.1 suffices).  I wouldn't
impose it as an absolute requirement, but wouldn't be thrilled if it
were violated.

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