What's with all the Cisco stuff?

J.T. Conklin jtc@redback.com
Tue Aug 10 21:43:00 GMT 1999

What's the deal with all the Cisco-specific stuff ending up in GDB?

We recently saw the introduction of a mutant Cisco variant of the
remote debug protocol (which doesn't offer any advantages over the
existing RDP), and the latest snapshot contains some sort of kernel
object display code for IOS that is bound into every GDB, native or

I'll argue that code for _any_ company's in-house systems is not
appropriate to be integrated into GDB.  Unlike support for an embedded
OS, which benefits a broad developer community; integrating code for a
closed system benefits only that company, especially as responsibility
for continued maintenance of whatever oddball way of doing things now
falls on the shoulders of future GDB maintainers.

By integrating this code, we have also set up a slipery slope where
similar code from other companies cannot be rejected out of hand. The
nature of embedded systems is that companies are going to have unique
requirements and specialized code that are of use and interest only
within.  Is all such code going to be welcomed in GDB?  Or only code
from Cygnus' customer list?

At the very least, shouldn't the cisco specific code be explicitly 
enabled with --enable-cisco-cruft or some such configure option?


J.T. Conklin
RedBack Networks

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