"If it has a bug, it isn't 'C'"

Jason Zions jason at hpcnoe.UUCP
Mon Oct 6 07:19:12 AEST 1986

Gary M. Samuelson writes:
> In article X, someone (doesn't matter who -- I think several
> people have done the same thing) writes:
> >Then it isn't a C compiler...
> This is rapidly becoming one of my pet peeves.  It seems that it is
> with increasing frequency that I see comments to the effect that if
> a C compiler has a bug, then it isn't a C compiler.  This is pedantic;
> by that reasoning, there isn't a C compiler in the world, and probably
> never will be.  Why not just say, "Your compiler has a bug," instead
> of, "Your compiler isn't a C compiler."

If the problem which inspired the "It isn't C" comment is just something
that crept into the product, then the problem is indeed a "bug".

If the problem is the result of a deliberate design decision, then the product
no longer implements the C language. When creating a C compiler, there are
NO design decisions to be made with respect to the language; only with
respect to implementation and possible options.

The case of the Silicon Graphics (I think that was the name of the machine)
compiler creating a type "long float" and differentiating it from "double"
falls in this latter category of a misguided design decision.
This is not an official statement of Hewlett-Packard Corp., and does not 
necessarily reflect the views of HP. It is provided completely without warranty
of any kind. Lawyers take 3d10 damage and roll a saving throw vs. ego attack.

Jason Zions				Hewlett-Packard
Colorado Networks Division		3404 E. Harmony Road
Mail Stop 102				Ft. Collins, CO  80525

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