Re: SIGFPE and -mieee
On Tuesday 17 June 2003 12:04 pm, Helge Kreutzmann wrote:
> If a program divides by zero, it is a bug. If it can't handle
> an overflow, it is a bug. If the author *knows* there could be
> a division by zero or simmilar, he/she has to provide checks.
If a program divides by zero or triggers a divide overflow in
floating-point math, it's supposed to generate a very specific
and clearly defined result per IEEE standards. I don't see that
it's a "bug" for a program to depend on industry standards being
in effect. It would be a nice "optimization" code-wise if it
did not, and that optimization has real practical value on Alpha
platforms prior to EV6. On other platforms it's kind of
> -mieee is for software where speed is absolutly irrelevant and
> where bugs like those mentions are no problems (e.g. an office
> suite). Also it can be a first step to get an application
> running on alpha at all. But IMHO this should be decided on a
> case by case basis and not be stuck into every compilation;
> especially since several programs are fixed now and can work
> fine without -mieee (or never needed one in the first place).
I can appreciate that fixing the problem after discovery would be
easy, but discovery is not always so easy. Leaving out -mieee
could cause latent misbehavior in an app--"walking wounded" that
never even gets noticed and treated before it's back out in the
field, then keels over three weeks later. That doesn't sit well
Basically, to prevent that, we'd need a top-notch engineer or two
carefully and thoroughly auditing code for this problem as it
comes in. I'm not terribly sure we could find someone willing
to spend his life in a basement poring over fifteen metric tons
of code a month with a fine-tooth comb. Sure I'd like stuff to
perform at its best, even on obsolete machines, but it's really
a question of how far we're willing or able to go for that.
"If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does
it still cost four figures to fix?"