Subject: Re: Style guide
To: Marc Horowitz <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/04/1997 10:08:36
[ On , May 27, 1997 at 16:08:08 (-0400), Marc Horowitz wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Style guide
> The code in NetBSD will not drop into any other unix derivative
> cleanly.  It will require some work, some of which may be nontrivial.
> Deansification is relatively easy; there are tools to do it for you.

You have it exactly backwards.

Using the de-ansification tools means changing the software's build
process, and is fraught with problems that can go un-detected until

Most (all?) NetBSD code does (or should) compile cleanly with K&R
compilers though indeed there are library, header, and system call
issues, but these are the norm for people who port software, so are
usually trivial to deal with and of course are easily detected at
compile time.

Leaving things as they are results in the least work all around.

> No, it simply means you need to have an ANSI compiler.  ANSI is 8
> years old, which is approximately forever in computer time.

But ANSI/ISO C is a different language.  The differences are subtle and
very dangerous since they can only be detected at runtime (or with a
good, true, lint).

>  The
> chance you will not have an ANSI compiler is very small.  IMHO, the
> risk is worth the benefit.  gcc has already been ported to practically
> everything which it can run on, and new hardware comes with ANSI
> compilers.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch.  ;-)

> I think we should optimize our style for NetBSD's use.  If this makes
> using the code elsewhere substantially more difficult in a lot of
> cases, we should consider that, too.  However, making our code better
> at the cost of a little more work for a few people seems like a good
> tradeoff to make.

Changing the code won't make it better -- it will only make it harder to
port.  The current style is an ideal compromise.

							Greg A. Woods

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