6 char externs and the ANSI standard

Geoff Kuenning geoff at desint.UUCP
Tue Nov 20 11:14:26 AEST 1984

In article <120 at ihnp3.UUCP> dhp at ihnp3.UUCP (Douglas H. Price) writes:

>	All well and good, but manufacturers have very little interest
>	in touching what already works just fine, thank-you, for their
>	own software.  Why should a manufacturer risk the good-will of
>	their customers by fielding a completely new version of such a
>	key tool (the loader)?  Why reintroduce all of the bugs that have
>	been shaken out over the life of the product?  To anticipate the
>	argument, this is NOT the same as normal product enhancement.  Make
>	all of the demands you like, the fact is that only new systems will
>	have long symbol names, and only normal attrition will get rid of old
>	systems.

Because, over 15 years, very little of that important old software will be
satisfactory.  Most major OS utilities have a lifespan of ten years or less;
even in that time frame they may undergo several near-rewrites.  All are
eventually rewritten for one reason or another.

>	Ever try to debug a program that has had its symbols remapped?
>	The defense rests..

Ah, yeah, I have to confess I did that just today.  The nasty old compiler
took my nice mnemonic symbols and remapped them to _B_I_N_A_R_Y _N_U_M_B_E_R_S!  How
uncooperative of it.  Fortunately, my debugger has access to a table giving
my original name and the mapped name.  It is no harder to set up a symbol
table for names that have been remapped to shorter ones.  Have you ever
tried to debug a program that has _t_r_u_n_c_a_t_e_d names?

The prosecution rests...

	Geoff Kuenning
	First Systems Corporation

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