6 char externs and the ANSI standard

Brad Parker brad at gcc-opus.ARPA
Fri Nov 9 04:52:13 AEST 1984

In article <237 at uf-csg.UUCP> ralph at uf-csg.UUCP (Ralph Kuntz) flames (-::
>Come on folks!!  Let's move out of the ``stone-age'' of compilers.  The
>proposed standard allows 6 mono-case characters for externs.  If a program is
>to comform to the standard it too cannot depend on more than 6 significant
>characters.  The alternative is to allow an `unlimited' number of significant
>characters, ala 4.2bsd C, and bring all of the out-of-date loaders into the
>'80s.  Writing compiler-assemblers is no longer the chore it used to be.
>Loader technology should also be brought up to date.

I'd have to agree with this. After a very painfull port of "portable" C code
from WhiteSmith's C on one machine (Z-80) to Whitesmith's C on a PDP-11
running RSTS (rat-sh*t time sharing), and discovering that the linker only
accepted symbol of 6 chars or less, I have paid my dues. Moving from 8
or more significant chars in an external symbol to 6 can cause premature
balding. This is a special case, I realize, but one that should be concidered
before adopting a standard. 

More information about the Comp.lang.c mailing list