Posted Oct 20, 2006 6:24 UTC (Fri) by viro
In reply to: sparse
Parent article: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
That's an interesting argument, seeing that gcc-based thing in that
area (stronger typechecking, etc.) is simply proprietary. I'm not
saying that Stanford Checker is a bad thing. But it's closed by any
definition. I've worked on sparse. A lot. Rewrite of preprocessor
more or less from scratch, lots and lots in type inferrence stuff
(starting with FP handling, non-lvalue composites, bitwise extensions,
etc.), many parts in phase 2 and phase 3, etc. There had been early
architecture decisions I'm unhappy with, but compared to gcc it's a
pleasure to hack on. In a very large part because nobody has been
playing games along the lines of "what if this change makes it easier
to abuse the thing into a separate frontend for their backend?"
Unlike gcc, implementing new class of checks is not a monumental
project. Including massive modifications of type system, etc.
Being free to tweak any code in a frontend working with gcc backends
might be nice in theory, but having it orders of magnitude harder
to tweak than it would have to be somewhat detracts from that freedom.
Stanford Checker *is* a monumental project. A modified gcc frontend.
Guess what? We _can't_ tweak on it. At all. At most we can try
to convince the nice guys from that group to add something new (and
run it over our code). And no, I'm not being sarcastic - they are
generally nice and reasonable. In compliance with the license, too.
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