GCC and GMP 5.0.1

Steve M. Robbins steve at sumost.ca
Sun Feb 27 20:21:24 CET 2011

Hi TG & others,

Thanks, this is a helpful discussion.

On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 10:00:55AM +0100, Torbjorn Granlund wrote:
> bodrato at mail.dm.unipi.it writes:

>   When we released the 5.0 versions of GMP, we basically announced it as
>   "experimental". We wrote:
>   "The amount of new code means that there might be more bugs in GMP 5.0
>    than in most GMP releases in the past.  We therefore still maintain
>    GMP 4.3 and advice users concerned about stability to use the latest
>    release from that release series."
>   This means that people are authorised to suspect of possible regressions,
>   aren't they?
> Indeed, and that was indeed our intention, to make people who use GMP
> become suspicious.
> But while compiler correctness is extremely important, causing problems
> for GCC with GMP should be a very minor concern when deciding whether to
> use GMP 4.3 or GMP 5.0 on a system.

Indeed, it's not the only concern.  When I raised the idea of switching
to GMP 5, the first question I got was whether all the dependent packages
will build without issues.  I don't deal with gmp-using code on a daily
basis as you folks do.  Have you any concerns on this topic?

> Note that Debian's default compiler (for several years, and as far as I
> can tell still today) is GCC 4.3.2.  It is well known that this compiler
> cannot be used to compile GMP.

The latest Debian stable release ("Squeeze") ships with GCC 4.4.5.
But this was just released a few weeks ago and you are correct that
the previous stable release ("Lenny") used GCC 4.3.2.

> Since Debian is one of the most
> important platforms, I have both tried and failed to change GMP to
> workaround the GCC 4.3.2 bugs, and tried and failed to make Debian patch
> their GCC.  Many, many people will surely get broken GMP compiles due to
> this widely distributed GCC bug.

The Lenny release shipped with GMP 4.2.2, which built and passed all
the supplied unit tests on all architectures.  I don't recall any
intractable bugs being reported in GMP.

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