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SubjectRe: Is gcc thread-unsafe?


On Thu, 25 Oct 2007, Nick Piggin wrote:
>
> Andi spotted this exchange on the gcc list. I don't think he's
> brought it up here yet, but it worries me enough that I'd like
> to discuss it.

Are you surprised?

The gcc developers seem to have had a total disregard for what people
want or need, and every time some code generation issue comes up, there's
a lot of people on the list that do language-lawyering, rather than admit
that there might be a problem.

It's happened before, it will happen again. I don't think it's true of all
gcc developers (or even most, I hope), but it's common enough. For some
reason, compiler developers seem to be far enough removed from "real life"
that they have a tendency to talk in terms of "this is what the spec says"
rather than "this is a problem".
Happily, at least in this kind of situation, threading is a real issue for
other projects than just the kernel, so maybe it gets solved properly.

But I have to admit that for the last five years or so, I've really wanted
some other compiler team to come up with a good open-source compiler.
Exactly due to issues like this (Q: "Gcc creates bogus code that doesn't
work!" A: "It's not bogus, it's technically allowed by the language specs
that don't talk about xyz, the fact that it doesn't work isn't our
problem").

I think the OpenBSD people decided to actually do something about this,
and I suspect it had *nothing* to do with license issues, and everything
to do with these kinds of problems. I wish them all the luck, although
personally I think LLVM is a much more interesting project.

Linus
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