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RE: [avr-gcc-list] Re: char to int promotion in bitwise operators

From: Weddington, Eric
Subject: RE: [avr-gcc-list] Re: char to int promotion in bitwise operators
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 14:27:02 -0600


> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
> address@hidden 
> [mailto:address@hidden
> org] On Behalf Of David Brown
> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 1:08 PM
> To: address@hidden
> Subject: [avr-gcc-list] Re: char to int promotion in bitwise operators
> That's a pity.  It looked like a good idea - it's certainly something 
> many other gcc developers have been asking for for years.  But it 
> certainly seems that most discussion about plugins has been somewhat 
> paranoid concern about people being able to use then to get 
> around the 
> GPL, rather than actually getting them working as well as possible.

It has in the past. Recently the FSF cleared up all the licensing issues so it 
can move forward.

> I had hoped that plugins might lower the bar for people getting 
> involved, by making it possible for people to look at a 
> smaller piece of 
> code at first rather than facing the whole gcc source tree.  
> But maybe 
> plugins just add another layer of complexity without actually helping.

I think you hit the nail on the head. I went to the GCC Summit this past June 
where plugins were a topic of discussion and that was my impression of plugins. 
There an awful lot of academics interested in plug-ins because "working with 
the GCC code base is hard", or because they want to write their plugin in some 
exotic language (e.g. OCaml) and they don't want to have to write in C. In the 
end it seems like all of this infrastructure is going into place to support 
plugins when more should be done to help new developers on GCC, but those are 
different sets of people. Perhaps, just maybe, an AVR-specific plugin would 
start off as experimental and then become actually useful. If that happens it 
needs to be worked into the actual code base (non-plugin) for it to be truly 
effective. If that's the case, then it seems like a waste of time and energy to 
write it one way for the plugin and then have to re-write it for the real code 
base; just start at the lowest point in the code base as a patch.

I think that there are some folks in the GCC community (mostly academics from 
what I can tell) that are suffering from "Eclipse-itis" and seem to want 
plugins everywhere, when it should not be that way. Granted these are just my 
opinions. YMMV.

I think, though, for the AVR community, we just need more people willing to 
dive in and help. The sad thing is, is that there are a lot of places to help 
that don't require arcane gcc knowledge. The avr-libc project is a great place 
to learn, and there are lot of place to help, including just helping with 
documentation. But sometimes it's hard enough to get people to submit a decent 
bug report, much less building the software, learning to make a patch, fixing a 
problem, submitting a patch, learning CVS/SVN, etc.

Eric Weddington

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