why not gcc 3.x?

Matthias Benkmann matthias at winterdrache.de
Tue Dec 4 05:30:27 PST 2001

On 3 Dec 2001, at 17:57, Matt Banta wrote:

> Hi guys!
> I have been wanting to use gcc 3.0 for a while but haven't since you guys
> said that would take me to the bleeding edge. I was wondering when gcc 3.0
> won't be on the bleeding edge. I mean it hasn't been out for that long but
> it has been out for a little while. What are the problems that are
> preventing people from replacing 2.95? Just wondering.

The problem is not so much GCC as the other programs, most notably glibc. 
Programs that rely on certain undocumented features or even bugs in GCC 
2.x will fail to build with gcc 3.x. The gcc developers will not "fix" all 
of these things in gcc, because they care more about the objective quality 
of GCC than about backwards compatibility with badly written software. So 
we will not only have to wait till gcc 3.x has matured (which AFAIK is 
supposed to be 1st quarter of next year when (hopefully) gcc 3.1 is 
released) but also till the other packages have been updated (especially 
glibc) which may take even longer. 
As Gerard has pointed out, some other non-LFS packages have to be taken 
into account, too, such as KDE. I don't know if they've already started 
working on it but making such a huge thing gcc 3.x compliant is probably a 
big deal that takes months, especially since the major changes with gcc 
3.x are in the C++ part, which is important for KDE.

I just wonder what we're going to do if some packages don't get updated 
for GCC 3.x while others require GCC 3.x for proper C++ and C99 support. 

Maybe by the end of 2002 LFS users will be forced to install 2 compilers. 
That's a problem that distro users don't have of course.


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