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Re: Nobody in the world understands Gnu's 'ld'.

Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
> Let's not get carried away here.  I understand the linker perfectly
> well, and so do a number of other people.
> In fact, BFD works quite well.

Yes, I agree.  Let's not get carried away.

However, let's not forget the point either: the GNU ld code
is poorly structured and poorly documented.

> Mind you, I'm not going to defend the way that BFD is written.
> [...] I've tried to clean up some of the more egregious
> problems.  Unfortunately, the cost of rewriting BFD is high.

Right.  So what is the solution?  Well, in the case of BFD, perhaps the
damage is already done -- the cost would have been a lot cheaper if it
was done right in the first place.  However, even now, Cygnus should
seriously consider spending the money to improve the quality of their
existing source code, because it may be a *good investment*.

Regardless of what happens with BFD, Cygnus ought to ensure that
whatever code they write is well documented and properly structured.
This will result in products that are easier to maintain, easier
to extend, and as a result in the long term the products will be better.

> I'd love to have some documentation if you care to write some and
> contribute it.  This is, after all, free software.  It improves by
> contributions.

Documentation should not be an after-thought.  If Cygnus thinks that
it can economize by not bothering with documentation or not bothering
to write properly structured code, then they are wrong -- it may result
in some short-term gains, but in the long run it will cost them a lot.
It is much more difficult (and expensive) for someone to come along
afterwards and write documentation than for the person doing the
original work to write the documentation properly in the first place.

Fergus Henderson <>   |  "I have always known that the pursuit
WWW: <>   |  of excellence is a lethal habit"
PGP: finger fjh@         |     -- the last words of T. S. Garp.
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