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feedback on 2.69b

From: Peter Eisentraut
Subject: feedback on 2.69b
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:11:40 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.14; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.9.1

Here is some feedback on applying the 2.69b beta on the PostgreSQL source tree. Basically, everything worked fine.

One issue we would like to point out is that the new scheme of automatically checking for the latest version of the C and C++ standards (deprecating AC_PROG_CC_C99 etc.) is problematic in two ways.

First, we have set C99 as the project standard. So checking for C11 is (a) useless, and (b) bad because we don't want developers to accidentally make use of C11 features and have the compiler accept them silently.

Second, the additional tests for C11 and C++11 are slow. This entirely eliminates all the performance improvements made elsewhere. In particular, the test

checking for g++ option to enable C++11 features... none needed

takes on the order of 10 seconds for some developers. And that is for one loop, since "none needed"; good luck if you need more than none.

It looks like it's not easy to disable these tests even with low-level hackery. It would be better if there were still a way to set the preferred level of C and C++ in an official way.

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