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Re: GCC 4.5.0 Released

Mark Mitchell wrote:
Basile Starynkevitch wrote:

It is really unfortunate the annoucement did not mention plugins,
another major feature of GCC. Why ?

I consider plug-ins an important feature for the future of GCC. I gave a talk this past week as the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in which I made the case for modularity of GCC, including plug-ins. I (assisting David Edelsohn, who lead the effort) worked with the FSF to get acceptance for plug-ins for a long time. So, it's not that I don't like plug-ins.

But, I don't think that plug-ins are yet a useful thing to announce in
what is essentially a "marketing" context.  Most users won't be able to
use them yet.  We have some infrastructure; we don't have a lot of use
of that infrastructure yet.

My feeling is that the simple availability of this plugin infrastructure is a significant *marketing* argument for GCC. We don't need useful plugin to reliably exist to use that advertising argument.

And while I agree that most ordinary users won't be able to use plugins [*] they will probably be able to ask for plugins (e.g. to pay consultant or GCC centered companies to do so).
I am not sure that as soon as modules or plugins have been added to other big software projects (like Linux Kernel, GTK, ...), most users of these projects have been able to use plugins immediately. Plugins are always a long term effort, because they are an invitation for people *outside* the community to participate in development, and this takes time & effort.

Note [*]: are we sure that other announced features, like Link Time Optimization, are *easily* usable by *ordinary* GCC users? I don't know, and I am not sure... Perhaps most ordinary users only know about -O1 or -O3...


email: basile<at>starynkevitch<dot>net mobile: +33 6 8501 2359
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*** opinions {are only mines, sont seulement les miennes} ***

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