gmp 4.1.4 build on 32 bit sparc8 misconfigures build as 64 bit for sparc9

Graham Leggett minfrin at
Fri Aug 5 14:45:19 CEST 2005

Torbjorn Granlund said:

> GMP defaults to the best usable ABI, but it is easy enough to
> override (as you've also noticed).

Overriding it involved reverse engineering the build process, which does
not fall within the definition of "easy".

> You might want to actually check the documentation before you
> criticize it; the ISA and ABI section is in the manual chapter
> "Installing GMP'.

You're making the classic developer mistake of assuming the end user has
the same pre-existing knowledge you have, and of documenting the answer
without documenting the question.

I as an end user have no idea what an ISA or an ABI is in this context,
and I have no way of knowing its importance. My task is "build and install
gmp as a dependancy of building gcc". To do this, I read the install docs.
I also read the special section on Solaris to check whether there is
anything special I must do on this platform. Explicitly setting ABI is not
mentioned in the Solaris docs, and so I don't do it.

Nobody can expect a developer to predict in advance every single angle
that an end user is going to approach the package at. As a result,
documentation bugs are going to happen. However when an end user does
follow a specific use case, and it's found that the docs don't take into
account that use case, the opportunity should be taken to amend the docs,
thus making the docs better with the experience of each end user.

Fixing this problem is as simple as adding a sentence to the Solaris
specific docs, warning the end user that the ABI must be set, referring to
the ABI section for more details.


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