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Dependence on gcc

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Dependence on gcc
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997 11:47:30 -0500

On 21-Aug-1997, Heber Farnsworth <address@hidden> wrote:

| I have a quest for anyone who might like to contribute a thought on
| the subject.  I am a big fan of free software but I wonder why
| octave MUST be built with gcc.  For those of us with proprietary
| systems the compiler we have is in many cases superior (in terms of
| performance) to gcc.  Shouldn't one be able to use any good
| compiler?  There may be good reasons for not doing this but I don't
| know what they are.

With a modest amount of effort, you could probably build Octave with
another compiler.

I haven't bothered to try compilers other than g++ because I haven't
had access to other compilers that supported some of the features that
g++ does.  Also, I don't have time to worry about working around the
differences in various compilers (options, language features, etc.).
It is much simpler to just use g++ becaues it is portable to many
systems, and supports the same features on nearly all of them.

With a few exceptions, Octave's C++ code is mostly standard stuff
(I've tried to avoid most g++ extensions, but there are a few).
Perhaps today most compilers support the language features that Octave

If anyone wants to make it possible to build Octave with C++
compilers other than g++, all you need to do is try to build it
using another compiler and then report the problems you find.
Progress will probably be faster if you can also supply patches.

Some things to look out for are

  * There are still one or two calls to ostream::vform() function (a
    GNU extension).

  * To make dynamic linking work, something must be done about the
    special knowledge of g++'s name mangling (I have some ideas that
    might make this easy).

  * Handling compiler options like -fno-implicit-templates in


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