Question on GCC 4.6 and -fpermissive

Jeffrey Walton
Wed Aug 10 11:02:00 GMT 2011

On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 5:32 AM, Jonathan Wakely <> wrote:
> On 10 August 2011 09:22, Jeffrey Walton wrote:
>> Hi Guys,
>> I'm running a table drive test suite. The tables are about 250K each,
>> and there are 7 of them. Each row in the table looks similar to the
>> following (this particular row is consumed by a 'short'):
>>    { 0x0001, 0x0001, <some bool> };
>> Without '-fpermissive' the code would not compile'.
> Why?  You might want to fix that.  -fpermissive is a band-aid to work
> around broken code, for backwards compatibility.  You should aim to
> wean yourself off it. You shouldn't write new code that relies on it.
Agreed. Its old code, and the thought of performing casts on values in
tables with files as large as 250K takes the wind out of me.

Fortunately, its code from the test cases, and not used in production.

>> With
>> '-fpermissive', the code compiles but produces a warning for each line
>> encountered:
>>    AdditionVerify.cpp:68:1: warning: narrowing conversion of ‘65535’
>>        from ‘int’ to ‘short int’ inside { } [-fpermissive]
>> GCC's 4.6 docs do not appear to have a [no]warning switch for
>> permissive [1] (the docs for the switches don't even mention the word
>> 'permissive').
> It's listed in the options summary:
> and here:
Right. I found the flag under the 4.6.1 dialect docs.

> It's not a warning option, it alters the C++ language that's
> supported, to allow non-standard constructs and things that were
> "traditionally" allowed (either by pre-standard C++ compilers or by
> earlier versions of G++)
> If you don't want -fpermissive then don't use it.
I think I prefer -fpermissive in this particular case. Its going to
take a while to track down the 1700 or so offensive values.

>> Taking a stab in the dark, my current CXXFLAGS looks is
>> below, which has not helped.
>>    CXXFLAGS += -std=c++0x -fpermissive -Wno-permissive \
>>        -Wno-narrow -Wno-narrowing -Wno-narrow-conversion
>>        -Wno-narrowing-conversion -Wno-coversion
> Well no, clearly just making up options isn't going to help.
:) Fortunately, GCC consumes unknown options.

In the absence of [clear] documentation that states what to do, I try
to use creativity while searching for the answer.

>> Any ideas on how to hush the compiler for for this warning. I'm
>> concerned it the volume of output might be masking more relevant
>> warnings.
> If you don't want warnings about narrowing then use -Wno-narrow, which
> works for me.
OK.  -Wno-narrow did not [completely?] work for me on Fedora 15 and
GCC 4.6. I say completely because there are 1734 warnings from GCC.

Driver program:
Sample table:

The makefile for the test program is located in the same folder
(deps/safeint/tests) and not root:

> If it doesn't work for you please provide a *working*
> example, not pseudocode or one that doesn't actually demonstrate your
> point.
Agreed. The last example was poor. My apologies.


[jeffrey@fedora15 ~]$ gcc --version
gcc (GCC) 4.6.0 20110603 (Red Hat 4.6.0-10)
Copyright (C) 2011 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO

[jeffrey@fedora15 tests]$ make 2> make.txt
-Wall -Wextra -Wno-type-limits -Wno-unused -std=c++0x -fpermissive
-Wno-narrow -I../. TestMain.cpp IncDecVerify.cpp AddVerify.cpp
SubVerify.cpp MultVerify.cpp DivVerify.cpp ModVerify.cpp
UnaryVerify.cpp PtrVerify.cpp -o TestMain.exe
[jeffrey@fedora15 tests]$ cat make.txt | head -1
IncDecVerify.cpp:427:1: warning: narrowing conversion of ‘128’ from
‘int’ to ‘char’ inside { } [-fpermissive]
[jeffrey@fedora15 tests]$ cat make.txt | wc -l

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