Noalias considered unreadable, let alone a bad idea

Doug Gwyn gwyn at brl-smoke.ARPA
Sat Jan 30 05:12:39 AEST 1988

In article <1988Jan26.123817.5188 at utzoo.uucp> henry at utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer) writes:
>If the content is complete
>and unambiguous but so poorly phrased that it is necessary to consult with
>a Committee member to understand it, then the document is inappropriate as
>a standard.  If the content is incomplete or ambiguous, which I would say
>is the case, then things get much worse.

I agree with what you say.  I was trying to address the issue of how tricky
it can be to get the implementation right, even if the specs were clear.

>I strongly suspect that this appeal to consultation with committee
>members cannot be used as an official excuse.

Of course not; I wasn't trying to offer it as an official excuse,
just as one rebuttal to the difficulty-of-implementation issue (which
is not necessarily a problem that needs fixing).

By the way, after there is an official published standard, the X3J11
technical committee continues to meet (less often), to respond to
requests for clarification and interpretation of the standard.

>the correct way to improve the wording of the proposed Standard is to
>delete "noalias" completely, since there is NO simple, clear, well-proven
>way of solving the admittedly-serious aliasing problem.

That may indeed be a correct observation, in which case the committee
needs to be persuaded that it is, after which they'll have to decide
how to fix it (which may be your proposal or some other).

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