Removal of pre-ISO C++ items from include/backwards

Mark Mitchell
Fri Oct 26 03:18:00 GMT 2007

Gabriel Dos Reis wrote:
> On Fri, 26 Oct 2007, skaller wrote:
> | I should point out retaining 'old' features can create a
> | significant maintenance burden for gcc developers,
> In this specific case, what are they?

The maintenance burden argument always used to remove stuff.  I've used
it myself plenty of times.  Sometimes, it really is too painful.  But,
sometimes -- and, again, I consider myself guilty -- we've ripped things
out under the banner of tidiness and maintenance that imposed a lot of
pain on users.

This isn't something that one can argue in the abstract.  Obviously,
there are competing interests.  We have to balance our pain as
developers against the pain of our users.  But, we should be setting the
bar high for ourselves because there are many, many users with lots and
lots of existing code.

Things like "I went through the packages in <some distro> and they all
build" isn't a very good measure; those packages are probably reasonably
actively maintained.  It's the millions upon millions of lines of
existing code in truly big applications out there that's a problem.

Mark Mitchell
(650) 331-3385 x713

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