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Re: RFC: Better portability for package maintainers



Am Samstag, 20. Mai 2006 12:01 schrieb Petter Reinholdtsen:
> [Erast Benson]
>
> > And thanks to upstream folks, 90% of OSS software is platform
> > independent and just works.
>
> Just to get the facts straight here.  I compile and port free software
> regularly to Linux, Solaris, Irix, HP-UX, Tru64 Unix, AIX and MacOSX,
> and do not share your view that 90% of "OSS software" (what is that?
> Lets call it free software for now), is platform independent.  I
> regularly run into build problems on all of these, because most free
> software is never before compiled with an ANSI C compiler (only GCC,
> which have a number of "extentions" not supported by ANSI C), and need
> rewrites to compile on Irix, HP-UX and AIX, which happen to have good
> and strict ANSI C compilers.  And there are heaps of endian problems
> (triggering on big-endian and alignment problems (triggering on hppa
> and sometimes sparc) too.  Luckily, GCC is getting closer and closer
> to ANSI C these days, so perhaps some time in the near future, the
> code developed by free software developers will be platform
> independent. :)

I'd never program for pure ANSI C. We are living in 2006 and can make use of 
ISO C99. If commercial and professional systems don't catch up in seven years 
but free software does, I don't care for such systems.
Authors of free software might take the freedom to use current standards.

Sure, using gcc-specific stuff sucks and is rarely intentional.

> So I would say less than 20% of the free software is platform
> independent, based on personal problems.

And the other authors cannot test on such system anyway as they often need 
specific hardware or the OS/compiler cannot be tested without extra costs.
Often, ports to such systems are done without feedback to the original author.

HS

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