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Re: Using C++ in GCC is OK


On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 12:51 PM, Robert Dewar <dewar@adacore.com> wrote:
> Steven Bosscher wrote:
>
>> Indeed. It is, well, perhaps not surprising, but quite annoying (to me
>> at least) that a possible move to C++ as implementation language of
>> GCC is so much bigger news than all the amazing amounts of work done
>> in the last few years on things like LTO, the vectorizer, IRA, etc...
>
> And indeed you have to worry a bit that productive work on critical
> areas like this may be siphoned off developing, reviewing and testing
> changes from C to C++ whose benefit may often be much less than the
> work involved in doing them.
>
> Redoing working code in language A into language B is always a bit
> dubious. I would be very cautious and judicious in allowing changes
> to existing working code. New stuff is a different matter, and where
> there is an argument in any case for reengineering it may make sense.

Indeed ;)  I'd like us to switch to the C / C++ common soon (thus,
use C for stage1 and C++ for stage2 and stage3).  That will help
us sort out problems on the various host/target combinations that
will surely exist.

Then wait for this special very-nice-and-we-definitely-want-to-have-it
patch that requires C++.  And only then switch to C++.

(you could argue that we can as well use C++ for stage1 and C for
stage2 and stage3, that would work for me as well but would
for example not allow starting to use C++ in the Java frontend only).

With all this discussion I am more and more back-pedaling on
the conversion to C++ - there is
very much cleanup work to do inside GCC that does not require
or benefit from C++.  I'd not like to see people jumping on the
let's convert GCC to C++ wagon leaving all the obvious existing
problems unaddressed.  We do not have an implementation language
problem - we do have many others.

Oh, I do like C++ and I can see some cases where ongoing cleanup
might benefit a tiny bit from using C++ - mostly syntactic sugar-wise.
But GCC will continue to exist even if we cannot use the STL for GCC 4.6.

Richard.


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