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hmmm, no C99

I asked if MS has any plans to support C99 in the next VisualC. This is
their answer.
I think we should whine more :-)

We feel that C++ addresses this space
sufficiently. In general we have no plans to add any C99 features that
duplicate functionality in C++ or conflict with it.

That also matches the feedback we have gotten from customers. In fact the
non interest in C99 is the clearest feedback I have seen of any issue. The
ratio of customers who don't want us to prioritize C99 features versus those
who do is definitely higher than 100:1.
They have planned "restrict" BTW, the one feature I like the least.
Nov 13 '05
67 3908
Dan Pop wrote:
In <bk**********@t itan.btinternet .com> Richard Heathfield
<do******@addre ss.co.uk.invali d> writes:
That's right. As long as at least one C99 implementation exists for the
target platform, portability of C99 code to that platform is not an issue,
even if some vendors are slow to support C99. So, if VC doesn't conform,
find a compiler that does, and use that instead.
Things are more complex than that, in real life.


As I'm sure you already know, real life is off-topic in this newsgroup.
What if VC generates
much better object code, has much better diagnostics and debugging
facilities?
Could a strictly-conforming program tell the difference? If not, it really
doesn't matter.
Wouldn't it be sheer foolishness to ignore all these
advantages for the sake of being able to use the few bells and whistles
added by C99?


That is by no means certain. It depends entirely on your priorities.

--
Richard Heathfield : bi****@eton.pow ernet.co.uk
"Usenet is a strange place." - Dennis M Ritchie, 29 July 1999.
C FAQ: http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
K&R answers, C books, etc: http://users.powernet.co.uk/eton
Nov 13 '05 #51
Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
In <m3************ @localhost.loca ldomain> Micah Cowan <mi***@cowan.na me> writes:
Simon Josefsson <ja*@extundo.co m> writes:
Richard Heathfield <do******@addre ss.co.uk.invali d> writes:

> Serve La wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>> Second, when somebody writes void main everybody starts shouting that it's
>> not portable. Following this logic, when some compiler refuses to
>> implement C99 it makes all those C99 features not portable. Isn't that a
>> bit strange?
>
> Strictly conforming code written to C99 rules is portable to all conforming
> C99 compilers, of which the number appears (slowly) to be increasing. The
> same cannot be said for void main.

Are there any C99 to C89 translators around? Is it possible to write
one?


Nope: certain C99 features cannot be implemented in portable C89 code.


Cannot easily be implemented, or not at all? Do you have an example
of something that would be impossible to translate into C89?

Thanks.
Nov 13 '05 #52
Simon Josefsson <ja*@extundo.co m> wrote:
Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
Simon Josefsson <ja*@extundo.co m> writes:
[...] Are there any C99 to C89 translators around? Is it possible to write
one?


Nope: certain C99 features cannot be implemented in portable C89 code.


Cannot easily be implemented, or not at all? Do you have an example
of something that would be impossible to translate into C89?


I'm fairly sure you could write a C99 interpreter in standard C89, so a
simple proof would be to write a translator which just outputs the
interpeter source code, along with the C89 program text in an array.

- Kevin.

Nov 13 '05 #53
In <il************ *@latte.josefss on.org> Simon Josefsson <ja*@extundo.co m> writes:
Da*****@cern.c h (Dan Pop) writes:
In <m3************ @localhost.loca ldomain> Micah Cowan <mi***@cowan.na me> writes:
Simon Josefsson <ja*@extundo.co m> writes:

Richard Heathfield <do******@addre ss.co.uk.invali d> writes:

> Serve La wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>> Second, when somebody writes void main everybody starts shouting that it's
>> not portable. Following this logic, when some compiler refuses to
>> implement C99 it makes all those C99 features not portable. Isn't that a
>> bit strange?
>
> Strictly conforming code written to C99 rules is portable to all conforming
> C99 compilers, of which the number appears (slowly) to be increasing. The
> same cannot be said for void main.

Are there any C99 to C89 translators around? Is it possible to write
one?


Nope: certain C99 features cannot be implemented in portable C89 code.


Cannot easily be implemented, or not at all? Do you have an example
of something that would be impossible to translate into C89?


External identifiers wider than six characters. Internal identifiers
wider than 31 characters. The rest of the extended translation limits.

I'm not sure if flexible array members can be implemented in truly
portable C89 code.

A large chunk of the C99 library support cannot be implemented in portable
C89 code, as well as non-library related macros, like va_copy(). Without
a portable library implementation (i.e. one relying exclusively on the
standard C89 library features), there isn't much point in translating
portable C99 code to portable C89 code.

One important reason for using C99 is to take advantage of its advanced
optimisation features: restrict and inline. Both keywords would simply
get dropped by a C99 to C89 translator, because they have no C89
counterparts.

Dan
--
Dan Pop
DESY Zeuthen, RZ group
Email: Da*****@ifh.de
Nov 13 '05 #54
Da*****@cern.ch (Dan Pop) writes:
Nope: certain C99 features cannot be implemented in portable C89 code.
Cannot easily be implemented, or not at all? Do you have an example
of something that would be impossible to translate into C89?


External identifiers wider than six characters. Internal identifiers
wider than 31 characters. The rest of the extended translation limits.

I'm not sure if flexible array members can be implemented in truly
portable C89 code.

A large chunk of the C99 library support cannot be implemented in portable
C89 code, as well as non-library related macros, like va_copy(). Without
a portable library implementation (i.e. one relying exclusively on the
standard C89 library features), there isn't much point in translating
portable C99 code to portable C89 code.

One important reason for using C99 is to take advantage of its advanced
optimisation features: restrict and inline. Both keywords would simply
get dropped by a C99 to C89 translator, because they have no C89
counterparts.


Good summary, thanks. I think a c99toc89 (c-10? c99toc90? c992c89?)
could be useful anyway, so people could start to use (some) C99
features, but still have the code compile on older systems. At least
I wouldn't consider using C99 for anything but experiments, until a
translator into C89 was available.

Kevin Easton <kevin@-nospam-pcug.org.au> writes:
I'm fairly sure you could write a C99 interpreter in standard C89, so a
simple proof would be to write a translator which just outputs the
interpeter source code, along with the C89 program text in an array.


Well, yes, of course. Although strictly not impossible, I wouldn't
count this as a realistic solution, though.
Nov 13 '05 #55
In article <ne************ ********@tomato .pcug.org.au>, Kevin Easton wrote:

That's quite well known already. GCC's design is based around
portability, and some design decisions to improve this (particularly the
split between front end and back end portions) rule out some kinds of
optimisations. There's also other optimisations that can't be included
because they're patented.


Which kinds of optimizations? Who are the primary patent holders? I am
certainly no expert of software patents. It seems unusual that patents
would be enforced against the freeware community. It's not like anyone
working on gcc is making any money out of it.

-Clint
Nov 13 '05 #56
On Wed, 01 Oct 2003 16:52:09 +0000, Clint Olsen wrote:
In article <ne************ ********@tomato .pcug.org.au>, Kevin Easton wrote:

That's quite well known already. GCC's design is based around
portability, and some design decisions to improve this (particularly the
split between front end and back end portions) rule out some kinds of
optimisations. There's also other optimisations that can't be included
because they're patented.


Which kinds of optimizations? Who are the primary patent holders? I am
certainly no expert of software patents. It seems unusual that patents
would be enforced against the freeware community. It's not like anyone
working on gcc is making any money out of it.

-Clint


whether anybody is making money or not is arguable, but certainly
*many* people are deriving value. and so, then the question becomes
is the value derived more than any patent liabilities would cost.
if so, then expect rent-seekers to come out of the woodwork, a la
SCO (tho, AFAIK SCO isn't making patent claims in its current litigation).

GCC's primary goal is freedom, and that means freedom from insecurity
and doubt. having patents hanging over one's head sucks.
Nov 13 '05 #57
Clint Olsen <cl***@0lsen.ne t> wrote:
In article <ne************ ********@tomato .pcug.org.au>, Kevin Easton wrote:

That's quite well known already. GCC's design is based around
portability, and some design decisions to improve this (particularly the
split between front end and back end portions) rule out some kinds of
optimisations. There's also other optimisations that can't be included
because they're patented.


Which kinds of optimizations? Who are the primary patent holders? I am
certainly no expert of software patents. It seems unusual that patents
would be enforced against the freeware community. It's not like anyone
working on gcc is making any money out of it.


I don't know the specific details (though when you're talking software
patents and compilers, the names "IBM", "Intel" and "DEC" are likely to
come up). However, there are people making money out of gcc - I believe
several makers of embedded systems supply toolchains for their products
built on gcc, and Apple's OS X uses a modified gcc.

- Kevin.

Nov 13 '05 #58
In <ne************ ********@tomato .pcug.org.au> Kevin Easton <kevin@-nospam-pcug.org.au> writes:
Clint Olsen <cl***@0lsen.ne t> wrote:
In article <ne************ ********@tomato .pcug.org.au>, Kevin Easton wrote:

That's quite well known already. GCC's design is based around
portability, and some design decisions to improve this (particularly the
split between front end and back end portions) rule out some kinds of
optimisations. There's also other optimisations that can't be included
because they're patented.
Which kinds of optimizations? Who are the primary patent holders? I am
certainly no expert of software patents. It seems unusual that patents
would be enforced against the freeware community. It's not like anyone
working on gcc is making any money out of it.


I don't know the specific details (though when you're talking software
patents and compilers, the names "IBM", "Intel" and "DEC" are likely to


DEC has been history for quite a while...
come up). However, there are people making money out of gcc - I believe
several makers of embedded systems supply toolchains for their products
built on gcc, and Apple's OS X uses a modified gcc.


Even if no one made any money from gcc, a gcc performing as well as the
commercial products based on the respective patents would significantly
reduce the sales of the commercial compilers (why pay big bucks for a
product that doesn't outperform a free one?).

Dan
--
Dan Pop
DESY Zeuthen, RZ group
Email: Da*****@ifh.de
Nov 13 '05 #59
Dan Pop <Da*****@cern.c h> wrote:

Even if no one made any money from gcc, a gcc performing as well as the
commercial products based on the respective patents would significantly
reduce the sales of the commercial compilers (why pay big bucks for a
product that doesn't outperform a free one?).


Support. Lots of people spend lots of money for compilers that don't
outperform GCC just so they have someone to complain to and, if
necessary, sue when there are problems.

-Larry Jones

Fortunately, that was our plan from the start. -- Calvin
Nov 13 '05 #60

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