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SubjectRe: C++ pushback
Date
Linus Torvalds wrote:
>
> On Wed, 26 Apr 2006, Jan-Benedict Glaw wrote:
>> There's one _practical_ thing you need to keep in mind: you'll either
>> need 'C++'-clean kernel headers (to interface low-level kernel
>> functions) or a separate set of headers.
>
> I suspect it would be easier to just do
>
> extern "C" {
> #include <linux/xyz.h>
> ...
> }
>
> instead of having anything really C++'aware in the headers.
>
> If by "clean" you meant that the above works, then yeah, there might be
> _some_ cases where we use C++ keywords etc in the headers, but they should
> be pretty unusual and easy to fix.
>
> The real problem with C++ for kernel modules is:
>
> - the language just sucks. Sorry, but it does.
Sorry, you do not know the language, and your statement is not
credible. I think that C sucks.

> - some of the C features we use may or may not be usable from C++
> (statement expressions?)
Statement expressions are working fine in g++. The main difficulties are:
- GCC's structure member initialization extensions are syntax
errors in G++: struct foo_t foo={.member=0};
- empty structures are not zero-sized in g++, unless they are like
this one: struct really_empty_t { char dummy[0]; };
> - the compilers are slower, and less reliable. This is _less_ of an issue
> these days than it used to be (at least the reliability part), but it's
> still true.
G++ compiling heavy C++ is a bit slower than gcc. The g++ front end is
reliable enough. Do you have a particular bug in mind?

> - a lot of the C++ features just won't be supported sanely (ie the kernel
> infrastructure just doesn't do exceptions for C++, nor will it run any
> static constructors etc).
A lot of C++ features are already supported sanely. You simply need to
understand them. Especially templates and type checking. C++
exceptions are not very useful tool in kernels. Static constructor
issue is trivial. I use all C++ features (except exceptions) in all
projects: Linux kernel modules, embedded real-time applications,
everywhere. They _really_ help a lot.

>
> Anyway, it should all be doable. Not necessarily even very hard. But I
> doubt it's worth it.
>
> Linus

I think that allowing C++ code to co-exist with the kernel would be a
step forward.

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