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Re: Converting GCC to compilation with C++

Dave Korn wrote:

  There's one thing even more important than the issue of whether we have to
use C or a C++ compilers to build gcc, and that is that it should always be
possible to build gcc using the native/proprietary (non-gcc) tools that come
with a system, so that you can then replace those tools with gnu tools.  If
the gcc sources start making use of gcc-only extensions, it soon won't be
possible to build it with any compiler other than gcc.  That would be a
disaster; it would seriously impede the goal of  getting open source
software onto proprietary platforms if there's no way of building the
compiler on them.

I am not sure I agree with the "seriously" above. It is of course always possible to cross-compile to a new platform.

Early on in GNAT days, we worried about precisely this issue, and
we had various schemes for getting around it (generating junk C
code, providing a MIPS simulator etc), but in practice we found
that if someone was interested in getting Ada onto a given machine,
they managed to deal with the cross-compilation issues, and we saw
ports of GNAT done by various people to various "odd" environments
(Amiga, MS/DOS, 1750-A, NextStep ...)

I still agree with Dave's general viewpoint that it is desirable
to keep the capability of building with native tools (and that is
indeed another argument for keeping with simple C), but I am not
sure that I would agree with "seriously impede". I would say
just "impede".

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