which compilers do we want to support with KDE 4 ?

Lubos Lunak l.lunak at suse.cz
Sat Jan 21 16:57:58 GMT 2006

Dne sobota 21 leden 2006 17:42 Kurt Pfeifle napsal(a):
> On Saturday 21 January 2006 10:32, Alexander Neundorf wrote:
> > Do we want to support gcc < 3.4 for KDE 4 ?
> I think: no!
> (KDE 4 can't be "all things to all men")
> The Practice:
> * there are many subtle differences between binaries compiled even with
>   the same major GCC version on different boxes. (This is to a large
>   part due to distros having patched their own 3.3.x to support features
>   that were available in 3.4 CVS, or whatever).
> * also, there are many subtle differences between 3.4 and 4.0 (even if
>   they in theory should support the very same ABI version, and implement
>   the same Itanium C++ ABI spec), due to lots of "bug fixes".

 I think we can shorten this to "gcc version 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 4.0 are 
incompatible with each other".

> If you decide now that you will support many different GCC versions
> with KDE-4.0, you will for sure also get these many different binaries
> built. And you'll have to support them then too. (Even if only 20% will
> be on 3.2, they'll tend to take 80% of your support and development time,
> I promise you this).

 That's not the point at all. KDE provides only source code, right? It's up to 
distros to decide which (supported) gcc they'll use and if MyFooDistro 
decides it goes with gcc4.0 only or something else, so be it, it's not our 
problem. It's also not a problem of our users, because they will first try to 
compile KDE4 in a year (users brave or insane enough to compile KDE4 now 
don't count), but we developers should compile KDE4 already now.

 This is only about how much trouble we'll get by making KDE compile with 
older gcc versions vs how much work we'll loose by waiting for some people to 
upgrade. And, before we jump the gun, it'd be good to know these two. So, can 
somebody with older gcc summarize how much doesn't work and how difficult 
it'd be to support it? Then we can judge, or, if there won't be an answer to 
this, we'll at least know that there aren't that many people interested in 
using older gcc's.

Lubos Lunak
KDE developer
SuSE CR, s.r.o.  e-mail: l.lunak at suse.cz , l.lunak at kde.org
Drahobejlova 27  tel: +420 2 9654 2373
190 00 Praha 9   fax: +420 2 9654 2374
Czech Republic   http://www.suse.cz/

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