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Re: libffi package

Tom Tromey <> writes:

>>>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Heller <> writes:

> Thomas> Thanks anyway.  Is there a magic spell I need to get a comment from the
> Thomas> maintainers ;-)?
> I was hoping that Anthony would reply.  (Hint, hint.)

So was I.

> My opinion is that we would accept patches for non-gcc compilers
> provided someone were willing to maintain such changes.  I.e., someone
> would have to make sure they don't break.

>  This wouldn't happen "naturally" since libffi is built as a target
> library in the gcc tree, i.e., it is only ever built with gcc during
> the course of ordinary gcc development.

If patches from me would be accepted, of course I would maintain them.

> Likewise, if someone wanted to do a real libffi release out of the gcc
> tree, I'd accept that.  We'd probably need to talk a bit about library
> versioning and package version numbers, nothing major though.

As soon as features are added or functionality is changed, libffi needs
another version number.  Or something like that.  Unless you see CVS
(branch?) tags as version numbers.

About features: I need additional features (for Windows at least) which
currently are not supported by libffi.  These are partly implemented:

- let ffi_call return an integer which denotes the stack pointer
difference before and after the real function call.  This is to catch
too many or too less arguments on __stdcall function calls.  I don't
know if this concept makes much sense on other platforms or

- add support for structures with non-default packing.  Again, I don't
know about other platforms, architectures, and compilers, but it is
needed on windows: I need to create structures where 32-bit integers are
aligned on 2-byte boundaries, for example.

- add support for unions

- add support for closures using the __stdcall calling convention.
AFAIK, in the version I have retrived from CVS, this is not yet

[about asking Anthony directly]
> Thomas> Have done this already and didn't get an answer.  Well, that was half a
> Thomas> year ago or so, is he more active now?  The idea was to reach the
> Thomas> current developers/maintainers on this list.
> Anthony is still around but not very active.  As Jeff said, he's been
> working on getting the copyrights assigned to the FSF.  I don't know
> the status of that.  There are some major-ish patches pending the
> completion of this though -- at least some things from Andreas and
> also I've heard rumor of an hppa port.

I would be unhappy to see libffi released under the GPL instead of the
Redhat license - or is this only a code ownership issue, and the license
will stay?  And I know that I could also start a fork on the redhat
licensed version.



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