Linux and aliasing?

Linus Torvalds torvalds@transmeta.com
Fri Jun 4 08:35:00 GMT 1999


On 4 Jun 1999 craig@jcb-sc.com wrote:
> 
> In other words, you believe you are a better language designer than
> the ISO C people as well as the gcc maintainers, despite the fact
> that you know, what, *nothing* about language design, and *nothing*
> about compiler design and, especially, long-term maintenance of
> compilers?

Craig, instead of only getting down to personal insults, and how you think
I should just stay with one compiler all my life or rewrite my code every
year, how about you actually face any of the =technical= issues? Too
scary?

I haven't maintained a compiler long-term. I _have_ maintained a larger,
and arguably mode complex system with many more degrees of freedom and
thus choices than gcc. I know about maintenance, code-boy. Wether you'll
ever admit to that is irrelevant.

So instead of just spouting off crap, why don't you give a single
technical reason why my suggestion is actually BAD? Instead of talking
about "language design" and trying to set yourself up as the only person
in the world who understands the issues, why don't you just face the
technical issues and get down to details?

_I_ think my simple extension was perfectly legitimate, adn a _lot_ more
obvious than a lot of things people are discussing on the lists. So don't
give me that crap about not adding new features outside the standard: 
people in the egcs camp do that all the time, and they usually _like_
doing it, even for much more specialized problems like function prologue
and epiloge code generation. 

And I don't see any "language design" issues either - it's a very clean
extension, and makes complete sense. I bet that if we took any average
C programmer (and most of us do =not= know all that much about aliases),
people would understand the extended semantics a lot more easily than they
understand the basic ANSI rules.

So how about it? Instead of just telling everybody that C isn't a portable
systems language (which it was designed to be, by people I respect a lot
more than you, despite all your rhetoric about being such a good language
person), just tell us why you think the simple "explicit cast invalidates
type information for aliasing" rule is so bad. 

And I realize that people are in a hurry and somewhat stressed to get 2.95
out the door. I do NOT think that anything like this should be a gating
issue - that would just be silly. The current egcs works, albeit with a
too draconian (in my opinion) global flag. Please don't get the feeling
that I'm doing this just to disrupt some release process. 

			Linus



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