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Re: changing "configure" to default to "gcc -g -O2 -fwrapv ..."

From: Richard Kenner
Subject: Re: changing "configure" to default to "gcc -g -O2 -fwrapv ..."
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 18:29:09 EST

> Wrong. Many people have relied on that "feature" because they thought it
> was leagal and haven't had the time to check every piece of code they
> wrote for conformance with the holy standard. And they don't have the time
> now to walk trough the work of their lifetime to see where they did wrong,
> at least unless they get some guidance (read: warning message).

Many people have lots of bugs in their code that don't show up until some
later time when it's used in an unexpected way (e.g., Arianne 5).  It's not
possible to seriously argue that we need to make every compiler in the future
bug-for-bug compatible with some older compiler.

Writing code that makes an assumption that the language they are writing in
says can't be made is a bug, no different than an uninitialized variable
which has been set to zero in every previous compiler.

The problem with warnings in this case is that it's very hard (and not may be
possible) to give a warning without having lots of false positives.  Since
many people are in an environment where every warning must be resolved, those
warnings themselves can cause more problems that the very occaisional bug.

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