Linux and aliasing?

Linus Torvalds
Mon Jun 7 09:29:00 GMT 1999

On Mon, 7 Jun 1999 wrote:
>     Linus> My proposal might mean that fewer people will use the
>     Linus> "-fno-strict-alias" switch, because they won't have to. I
>     Linus> don't think you realize how most professional software
>     Linus> projects work. The "professional" part means that people
>     Linus> are under a deadline and don't really care about your
>     Linus> standards conformance, they want things to WORK.
> Please don't make these kinds of statements.  They're not becoming.

What? It's not about being becoming. It's about how things work. Not in
all places, I'll give you that, and not in the best places. But I think
you have rose-coloured glasses if you think most software projects are
going to spend a lot of time to try to get everything to run perfectly.

People write so-so code, and then they hope that by using -O2 the compiler
will make it good. When it doesn't, and when they find out it was due to
strict aliasing rules (if they ever do - the more likely schenario is
that they'll ship the binary compiled with just -O), they'll turn it off
rather than fight it.

You obviously disagree. This isn't technology, so there isn't "one right


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