c/2776: Wrong (misleading) error message in gcc 2.95.3

Mirsad Todorovac mtodorov@alu.hr
Wed Feb 19 18:50:00 GMT 2003

On Wed, 19 Feb 2003, Wolfgang Bangerth wrote:

> > I apologize if I was wasting your precious timewith this as it now seems
> > not so important issue, but I wasted so much time resolving it that I
> > thought it was important to be resolved, or at least known issue.
> >
> > Thank you for your time. Mirsad
> No problem. This is just one of the cases where what you wanted would
> require the compiler to second-guess what was your original intention.
> Your example boiled down to
>   char *p = hip hop step;
> The problem was the missing quotes (which the compiler can't know, since
> the three tokens came from the preprocessor, and there might be many
> possible interpretations of what the orginal intent was:
>   char *p = "hip hop step";
>   char *p = hip+hop+step;     // hip=char*, hop,step=int
>   char *p = hiphopstep;       // hiphopstep=char*
> etc. There is just not something sensible the compiler can say here,
> except for "parse error" or so.
> With respect to the fact that the error message was totally
> incomprehensible: most experienced programmers know that if something is
> _really_ incomprehensible, the look at the preprocessed sources. I'd say
> this is for exactly the same kind of experience you just made :-(

Thank you for this explanation, which makes things much clearer. I
understand that AI is probably not a good thing to install in a compiler,
since a compiler has to be small and reliable, hasn't it? :-))

Be blessed,

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