Working ELF GCC

Tony van der Hoff tony at mk-net.demon.co.uk
Wed Oct 8 03:23:59 PDT 2003


On 7 Oct 2003, in message <3F82A831.9000507 at dsvr.net>,
Nick Burrett <nick at dsvr.net> wrote:

> Peter Naulls wrote:
> > In message <d5a9973d4c.Tony at tonyv.gotadsl.co.uk>
> >           Tony van der Hoff <tony at mk-net.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > > > Continuing to support AOF/ALF if at all possible is desirable for
> > > > plenty of obvious practical reasons.  At the same time, the number of
> > > > tools that support Acorn formats and ELF together is pretty limited.
> > > > 
> > > 
> > > Agreed on the first point; in fact I would have thought it more than
> > > desirable; but rather vital. This is, after all, software for the RISC
> > > OS platform we're talking about, and I believe backward comptibility,
> > > is one of its strong points. Let's not abandon that on a crusade
> > > towards Linux.
> 
> 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.
> 
Splendid; that has allayed my worries, and is really all I wanted to hear.

> 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 highly laudable aims, and I'm sure that in time, I'll be grateful for the
extra functionality. (1) obviously has the greatest benefit for application
developers; I guess the benefits of other two are mainly confined to the
tools development.
> 
> I figured that we would make two GCC releases (or one large combined GCC 
> release).  One with AOF support and one with ELF support.  People could 
> choose the desired format.
> 
Once again, what I was hoping for...

> Upon releasing it to the wild, the decision whether to make a GCC build 
> that worked with both formats would be made by the end-users. 
> Ultimately if we produced an ELF build and nobody wanted to use it, then 
> there would be no point further developing it other than for personal 
> interest.
> 
I suspect the effect will be that nobody will want ELF initially, but then as
any benefits become known, and any problems have work-rounds, it will
eventually become dominant. It does mean that you have to support both
formats until that time; probably several years...

[snip]

-- 
Tony van der Hoff         | MailTo:tony at mk-net.demon.co.uk
Buckinghamshire, England  | http:www.mk-net.demon.co.uk




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