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

Wayne Throop throopw at dg_rtp.UUCP
Sat Oct 11 03:35:19 AEST 1986

> rcd at nbires.UUCP (Dick Dunn)
>> ?
>>> ?

>>> Then it isn't a C compiler...
>> This is rapidly becoming one of my pet peeves.
        [peeves do *NOT* make good pets!  :-)]
> Gary's complaint is valid when people are talking about things which turn
> out to be bugs - meaning something along the lines of "behavior which the
> implementors agree is incorrect and should be fixed."

In addition to the feeping creaturism pointed out by Dick Dunn, I note
that most often Guy (and others) direct the put-down of "Then it's not a
C compiler" to folks who are attempting to claim that since their
compiler does X, then X is a feature of the C language.  It is a pithy
way of pointing out that X is a bug, not a feature.

The point is that this was most often a response to somebody *denying*
that a blatant bug was in fact a bug.  Guy (and others) were willing to
go along with this, saying in effect "OKfine, it's not a bug.  But if it
isn't a bug in your compiler *THEN* your compiler (really and truely) is
*NOT* a C compiler".

I might be persuaded that this particular putdown is somewhat overused
of late, and some folks may use it inappropriately.  But a guru who uses
this putdown inappropriately just isn't a *C* guru!  :-)

The most deadly thing in software is the concept... that you are
going to specify what you are going to do, and then do it.
                                --- Ross in Software Engineering
Wayne Throop      <the-known-world>!mcnc!rti-sel!dg_rtp!throopw

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