Sun Jan 31 23:58:00 GMT 1999
Here's a dumb question: if gas and gld can handle arbitrary strings as
names, why not skip name mangling and assembling entirely? Wouldn't
this be cleanest?
Obviously we would still have to mangle/assemble on platforms that
only allow A-Za-z0-9_ (I'll write more about this later). And even
for GNU/Linux, we'd need backwards-compatibility options. But with
the right compatibility option or two, it seems to me that the
transition to straight-through regime would be doable. E.g. gcc could
optionally generate both old (mangled) and new (unmangled) format
external definition symbols, so that a shared object would link with
both old- and new-format executables. This would work because the two
name formats can't possibly collide.
I vaguely recall your mentioning the need for a transition to a
new-format mangling scheme for C++ anyway.....
Obviously we'd also need to translate to UTF-8 for Java (and
optionally for other languages), but other than this, it seems to me
that we don't have to mangle if we don't want to.
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