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Re: Process is no substitute for understanding

Ian Jackson <ian@davenant.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> The C9X group's remit was to standardise existing practice, but they
> didn't think it important (or it didn't occur to them) to look to see
> what the most popular C compiler had done.

And a good thing -- I happen to think that most of the extensions in
MS Visual C suck! :-)

I can assure you that GCC was very much in the minds of the entire C9x
group.  They were bombarded with wholesale requests to adopt almost
every GCC extension.  In some cases, though, even the GCC maintainers
themselves opposed including certain GCC extensions in C9x.

> The result is that in very many cases the C9X spec has an extension
> with the same purpose and similar or identical semantics to GCC, but
> with different syntax.

Believe me, this was only done after long and strident debate.  GCC
was a CONTINUOUSLY raised issue during the C9x process.  The sad fact
is that many of GCC's extensions are open to accusations of poor or
hasty design, or are just not consistent with existing practice
elsewhere.  Go read some of the comp.std.c archives before you
start mudslinging.

> >     (This question calls into question your understanding of the
> >  standards process, and the significance of standards documents
> >  themselves).

I have to say that I think Manoj is right on the money here.  If you
imagine that it was *possible* for C9x to overlook GCC, then your
understanding of the process is sorely lacking!

As for Debian's process -- I think it's possible to find a middle
ground between your position and Manoj's.  Maybe the two of you should
take a day or two to cool off, and let some of the rest of us study
the issues you've raised and make suggestions.

Chris Waters   xtifr@dsp.net | I have a truly elegant proof of the
      or    xtifr@debian.org | above, but it is too long to fit into
http://www.dsp.net/xtifr     | this .signature file.

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