Subject: Re: More on chars
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Collatz.McRCIM.McGill.EDU>
List: current-users
Date: 03/27/1995 14:12:03
>> The answer to this appears to be that there are a lot of places in
>> the NetBSD binaries that assume signed chars are the default

(I assume this should be "sources", not "binaries".)

>> but this is because they haven't been debugged properly on systems
>> which assume unsigned chars rather than because NetBSD is supposed
>> to be compiled with a default of signed chars.

Sounds good to me.

> Huh?  I can only think of two or three systems that even have
> unsigned chars as the native, and neither of them run NetBSD
> (currently).

I can think offhand of two architectures - one common now, not very
common now but extremely widespread in its day - which are equally
friendly to signed chars and unsigned chars.  The first is the SPARC;
the second is the VAX.  It's equally easy to use ldub or ldsb on the
SPARC, and equally easy to use movzbl or extbl on the VAX.  Purely up
to the compiler designer/implementer.

> If NetBSD ever runs on an unsigned char box, the programs will
> probably get fixed.


> Otherwise, why bother?  Almost everything uses signed chars.

Aesthetics?  To make life easier for the eventual porter to a machine
where unsigned chars are preferred?  Because you want to steal one or
two programs for an unsigned char environment?

					der Mouse