Working ELF GCC
peter at chocky.org
Tue Oct 7 05:07:06 PDT 2003
In message <3F82A831.9000507 at dsvr.net>
Nick Burrett <nick at dsvr.net> wrote:
[ ELF interoperability ]
> I'm not entirely convinced that it is vital. I will stress that we
> *will* maintain compatibility with AOF. Or at least a toolset will
> exist for the purposes of working with AOF/ALF.
> My original reasons for wanting ELF support were:
> 1. Debugging symbols. Potential to use GDB.
> 2. PIC.
> 3. Weak symbols. I don't think the AOF implementation is a true weak
> symbol implementation. I have a feeling that C++ binaries will be
> smaller in ELF than AOF because of this.
All excellent reasons. I also recall a discussion on the FORTRAN
compiler that there wasn't a situation AOF wasn't able to cope with.
> > Fine, and I'm not suggesting you should. What I _am_ doing is pointing
> > out the current situtation. What I'm lacking from your reply is
> > practical solutions about what we should do.
> Unfortunately I don't have any.
Well, I _do_ think you have made some :-)
> I don't think we are saying that the move to ELF is inevitable. We
> might be able to demonstrate that the move to ELF is a compelling one if
> we can prove that the ELF userland tools allow developers to do stuff
> they couldn't easily do with AOF.
No, I don't think it is, not necessarily immediate. And the reasons
for doing so, to many people, might be too abstract or too marginal to
be compelling. But I have plenty of reasons of my own to move to ELF;
which other developers may or may not care about.
> It is possible to write makefiles that could target both formats. I
> think this is more of an issue for developers of libraries rather than
Yes, it is, and I don't think it's relevant to application developers.
I also think given the correct changes to the toolchain, these changes
will be very minimal, or optional.
> Many users seem to be frightened of using GCCSDK/UnixLib anyway. I see
> no reason not to scare them further by providing a myriad of different
> target types :-)
Yes, quite. And this is a hard problem to solve, quite apart from the
ELF issue. Although it's often the experienced developers who fall
foul of problems.
> Certainly writing some sort of information on the website that clearly
> explains this stuff in a way that makes users choose the right tools for
> the job would be a tricky task.
Yes, it is - especially when its status might rapidly change. It
doesn't mean we shouldn't try :-)
Peter Naulls - peter at chocky.org | http://www.chocky.org/
GCC for RISC OS | http://hard-mofo.dsvr.net/gcc/
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