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Re: changing gcc default output executable name (a.exe now)

 Brendan J Simon <> writes:
> An output of <name> or even <name>.exe would be justified on Unix boxes
> also in my opinion.

a.out is perfectly reasonable for Assembler OUTput when the linker doesn't
/necessarily/ have any other information about the input.

>  I don't know why Unix people still insist on making
> things harder and more cryptic then they have to be.  I think it's an ego
> powertrip thing or something.

Not to sidetrack the discussion, but a standard view of a Windozeism like
that is kinda like the Vonnegut short story, "Harrison Bergeron," where
everyone gets handicapped down to the lowest common denominator:  If one
isn't smart enough to handle it, that's one's own problem.  Don't try to
slow the rest of us down to match.

(No flame intended, it was just FYI.)

Having said that, I'd agree that a.exe is probably confusing for the
standard Windows programmer, and should probably be changed to make it
easier to move from that platform to a more capable one like Cygwin.
Should it always try and be intelligent about the choice of filenames,
as Mumit suggested, or should there just be some /other/ default than 'a'
for a prefix?  I'd suggest whackamole.exe because that game is so much fun,
except it's longer than eight characters.

 Brent Williams <> writes:
> Also, how will it handle and existing *.exe file of the same name? Given
> your example, will it write over any existing foo1.exe file? 
> I wouldn't want to have a foo.exe file overwritten accidentally due
> to an oversight on my part. (i.e. forgetting the -o <name> during a
> manual compile)

This is why I don't find a.exe unintuitive or confusing.  Nobody leaves
production executables named a.out lying around in Unix; if you find one
or overwrite one, it's assumed to be disposable anyway.  I would treat
a.exe the same way under Cygwin:  hey, you didn't do anything with it,
so it's safe to assume that it can be blown away.

Not speaking for anybody other than the majority of the voices in my head,

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