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RE: gcc compile-time performance

Robert Dewar wrote:
> Yes, but this is a perfectly example of an irrelevant point. No one is
> bootstrapping any compilers on the space station (which actually
> uses 386's more widely), and anyone building software for this platform
> will be using modern fast machines.

The point is not irrelevent, in that many people keep saying tha
"performance doesn't matter." Yes, it does matter, in any number of
environments where people do *not* have the latest and greatest hardware. It
is, in my opinion, a major mistake for fundamental tools (including
compilers) to assume that they will only be used on current hardware.

> What counts on the space station is performance of
> the generated code. So this particular line of reasoning is not really
> relevant to the discussion of compile time.

What counts on the Space Shuttle (I never mentioned "station") is code
accuracy, actually. I was using it as an example to counter your belief that
the only folk who use "old" computers are hobbiests. And you ignored the
other examples I gave from industry and education.

> Yes, but as above, this is for targets. I don't know of people doing
> serious professional *development" on old junk systems. Or at least not
> this (386 and 496) junky!

If I'm trying to teach software engineering at a school where they have a
dozen 486 machines and old Macs, the ability to compile on such hardware is
certainly important.

> Actually in the PC world, people tend to have
> very fast machines (you can after all buy a new gigahertz machine from a
> major manufacturer for $500 these days). Sometimes in the unix world we
> see people using older boxes, since some of that hardware is still very
> expensive.

$500 is a lot of money to some people. Hell, the school districts in my area
(Florida, USA) can't afford modern text books, let alone "very fast"
computers. And I gave other examples of "low tech" environments in the
previous message...

Yes, if you're developing for a business environment, people have
top-flight, fast hardware. But is that the only environment where free
software is important?


Scott Robert Ladd
Coyote Gulch Productions,
No ads -- just very free (and somewhat unusual) code.

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