GCC quality (was Re: AMD-64 optimizations, some (new) code)

Torbjorn Granlund tege at swox.com
Tue Sep 27 22:16:19 CEST 2005

"Richard B. Kreckel" <kreckel at ginac.de> writes:

  On 27 Sep 2005, Torbjorn Granlund wrote:
  > I think the entire software community has a very serious attitude
  > problem leading to quality problems with almost all software.  GCC,
  > the Linux kernel, Windows, etc, are examples.

  That's not fair.  Do you submit these bugs you keep finding "spread over
  the platforms"?  I was unable to find more than four PRs filed in GCC's
  bugzilla matching your name.  Moreover, you failed to respond to two of
  them although the maintainers explicitly solicited your feedback!  That
  attitude is not exactly helpful when it comes to improving software

I am not aware of having failed giving feedback.  Please point me
to the bug reports in question.

I admit to not report all GCC bugs that I find.  I work around
all of them in GMP, typically in configure, thereby ensuring GMP
works correctly with all compilers I test.  Does this hurt GCC?
Hardly, they have a very large number of bugs to work on already.
Have I forfeited my right to criticize the GCC quality?  I don't
think so.

The GCC quality problems aren't new.  There have been periods
where it has been better, and periods where it has been worse.
One of my early contributions to the GCC project was the
c-torture tests; before that there was no test suite at all and
releases where not subject to any organized testing.  Obviously,
the releases back then varied in quality...

  Don't get me wrong: If your motto is "pauca sed matura" you are entitled
  to call a product with four bugs crappy, all right.(*)  But publicly
  whining about bugs that haven't surfaced except in an unpublished
  testsuite does have an odor of spreading FUD.

You're just guessing here.  And you're guessing wrong.  Also, I
cannot believe that you seriously believe there are just 4 bugs
in any GCC release.  You seem to be aware of the bugs data base,
and I am pretty sure it has thousands of open and closed bug
reports for every release.

You should try an experiment.  Disable the various compiler bug
worksounds from GMP 4.1.4 configure.  Then try a couple of GCC
releases on a coupld of platforms and see it blow.  FUD?

I am a long-term GNU contributor and I am very concerned about
the quality of various key GNU components.  If you don't like
inside criticism, tough.


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