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Re: gcc extensibility

On Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:06:11 -0500
Gabriel Dos Reis <> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 10:34 AM, Romain Geissler
> <> wrote:
> > Hi
> >
> > Le 29 mars 2012 à 14:34, Niels Möller a écrit :
> >
> >> 1. I imagine the plugin API ought to stay in plain C, right?
> >
> > I don't know if this was already discussed and if the community
> > ended up with a clear answer for this question. If it's not the case
> > i would prefer a plugin interface in C++, for the same reasons it
> > was decided to slowly move the internals to C++.
> >
> I do not think people working on plugins have come up with a
> specification and an API they agree on.

I believe plugin makers (if you can count me amongst them) don't have at all this
approach. By definition, a plugin should work with whatever interface a given GCC release
makes available. Plugins people by definition cannot alter or improve the interface that
GCC is giving to them (otherwise, they are no more plugins people, but GCC contributors).

What I mean is that it has absolutely no sense to make a plugin for something which is
derived from GCC (e.g. for an experimental branch or fork of GCC). The very idea of
plugins is that they should work with an unmodified distributed GCC.

To be more concrete, I am right now passing some time to make MELT usable with the GCC
4.7 released by Debian/Sid (exactly it), not with the GCC 4.7 I used to build myself
(which e.g. was compiled in C mode only).

Plugins don't have much sense if they don't work with widely distributed, but recent,
releases of GCC. So plugins people won't propose, as plugins developers, any API
interface to GCC; they will stick to whatever is available to them.

[in other words, I may propose some patch or enhancement to GCC, but then I am acting as
a GCC contributor, not as a plugin developer]

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*** opinions {are only mine, sont seulement les miennes} ***

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