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Re: [PATCH 1/3] Introduce gdb::unique_ptr

> Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 07:47:41 -0700
> From: Joel Brobecker <>
> Cc: "Metzger, Markus T" <>,	"" <>
> > I think we're pretty much down to not-that-exotic hosts nowadays.
> > At least, all hosts there seem to me like should have working
> > gcc or clang ports.
> Agreed. Mostly, I was thinking of seeing if we can avoid the requirement
> to build a GCC first, if all you are interested in is actually building
> GDB. But, if C++11 is a much cleaner language overall, and its runtime
> provides some nice additions, I think it makes better sense technically
> to align ourselves to it. We've already made a huge requirement jump;
> let's just do it right all the way. That increment doesn't seem all
> that significant compared to requiring a C++ compiler.

IMO, requiring to build GCC as a prerequisite for building GDB is a
major setback.  Building GDB is a relatively easy and straightforward
task today, even a native MS-Windows build.  By contrast, building GCC
requires quite a few additional prerequisites, which will also need to
be built correctly.  It also requires to configure the GCC being built
itself, which involves considering a large number of opt-in and
opt-out features, whose descriptions are not well suited for casual
users, and therefore whose consequences cannot be easily understood.

Please don't do that.  As someone who builds GDB since v7.4 (and
offers it for other MinGW users as prebuilt binary package), such a
requirement will be a death blow for me, because building GCC on
MS-Windows is even more complicated than doing that on Posix

Yes, I use GCC, of course, but I just upgraded to 5.3.0 here a few
months ago, while you seem to be already talking about 6.x.  If we
start on this slippery slope, I can easily envision the requirement to
go up to 7.x very soon, exactly like switching to C++-compatible GDB
caused, within just few months, a massive rewrite of GDB in complex
C++, something that IMO was never planned or discussed before actually
doing it.  It's only natural: one out of the bottle, no genie can be
constrained anymore.

So please let's not start on this slippery slope.  Let's continue
requiring only the standards that are widely available with the
compiler versions out there, which in practice means we should always
support GCC versions from at least 5 years ago, and at least 2 major
releases ago.

I don't expect my request to be honored, or even considered seriously.
But I cannot let this pass without voicing my very strong opposition
to such a requirement.

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