binutils development (was Re: Problems building binutils-000220 snapshot)

Ian Lance Taylor
Tue Feb 22 09:48:00 GMT 2000

   Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 09:28:56 -0800
   From: "H . J . Lu" <>

   > You know as well as I do how to get a patch into gcc.  When I look at
   > the message you cite above, I see you mixing completely unrelated
   > stuff like some sort of dlopen support with adding GNAT support.
   > That's a bad start.  I even see support for Compaq demangling,
   > whatever that is, which only works if the user has some sort of .so
   > file.  Do you think that is appropriate for GNU code?

   Compaq wants to make their C++ compiler available for Linux/alpha. It
   needs that feature in ld. I believe it is appropriate for Linux to
   support it.

I'm not a gcc maintainer, so it's not my call.  But surely Compaq does
not consider their C++ mangling scheme to be a secret.  You can't even
keep such a thing a secret.  Why don't they just provide the source
for their demangler, so that it can be incorporated into cplus-dem.c?

Adding support for a shared library interface to cplus-dem.c is not
ipso facto bad, but adding one without documentation or support for
adding arbitrary demanglers seems ill-advised.  New interfaces should
be defined thoughtfully, not as an ad hoc mechanism tossed into a
patch which is purportedly about something else entirely.  Whatever
interface gets put in is one which will have to be supported for a
long time.

   > Actually, neither dlopen support nor GNAT support has anything to do
   > with adding --demangler and --style options to the binutils.  Sure,

   The whole purpose of --demangler and --style is for dlopen and GNAT.
   At least, that was what I had in mind when I implemented them.

Sure, but those options are just as useful to select, say, Java
demangling, and the Java code is already in cplus-dem.c.  Get the
simple stuff in first, and then fight about the complicated stuff.
--demangler is simple.  dlopen is complicated.  This is basic patch
strategy--you've known it for years.


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