Subject: Re: man pages & style guide
To: Bruce Albrecht <>
From: Peter Galbavy <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/08/1996 08:31:36
> J.T. Conklin writes:
>  > We'd like to make it possible for NetBSD to be compiled with pre-ANSI
>  > compilers.
> I know this was discussed to death a couple of months ago, but... Can
> gcc be compiled with a pre-ANSI compiler?  Is it possible to bootstrap
> gcc, and then build the rest?  For that matter, how many platforms out
> there still don't have an ANSI compiler available for them?  I see
> nothing wrong with backwards-compatibility as long as it's truly
> necessary, but I wonder if it's really necessary anymore.

This is one of those areas where I "quietly" disagree with JTC (and
others etc...) and think that the ANSI environment brings such
benefits to the developer in terms of prototyping, type standards
etc that it should be considered a requirement for coding in C
nowadays. It is not (as some people see it) a lazy programmers safety
net. A wise programmer uses a safety net, some ropes, a harness and then
makes sure they are doing the high wire 6 inches above solid, earthquake
free ground. With a good life insurance policy too.

For our internal use I have been reworking large parts of gated, and one
of the "style" assumptions that I have made is that if the thing is not
built in a ANSI C (and slightly - mostly - POSIX like) environment then
you do not want to be running the software on that platform.

I would like to see *BSD move towards trashing the __P() macros,
declaring functions ANSI style and generally making sure that the code
(at least under GNU C) compiles without warning or "areas of doubt".

Peter Galbavy                                 
@ Home                                                 phone://44/973/499465
in Wonderland