Multilevel standard

John McNamee jpm at bnl.ARPA
Tue Dec 25 11:25:43 AEST 1984

It was proposed in net.lang.c that the new standard should have two levels:
One that follows K&R and one with all the extensions. I strongly disagree
with this idea.

One thing I hope the ANSI standard will do is force vendors of C compilers
to upgrade their products. Most microcomputer C compilers do not have enums,
structure assignment/passing, or the void type, all of which have been
around for some time. I hope that having an ANSI standard will push vendors
into adding these and the other new features. Its amazing how many bad
compilers with very small libraries claim to be "standard" because they
follow K&R. That makes my life harder because I have to determine on a
case by case basis if my code will work with a given compiler. This is a big
problem in the micro world, where many compiler writers seem to have never
read sections 2 and 3 of the UPM.

I want to be able to move my programs to ANY compiler that follows the ANSI
standard, not just the ones that follow subset ABC, exception XYZ. C is
supposed to be a portable language, and having multiple levels destroys
that portability (unless you code using the minimum language, which I dont
want to do).

The standard committee displayed a great deal of wisdom by leaving out
multiple levels of compliance. Lets keep it out.
			John McNamee
			jpm at Bnl.Arpa

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