[pdftex] compiling 1.30.6 on openbsd-current

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe at math.utah.edu
Tue Mar 7 19:46:35 CET 2006

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca> writes on Tue, 7 Mar 2006
13:25:27 -0400:

>> ...
>> Others would argue that since a current gcc should work everywhere
>> pdftex will be used, there is no excuse for using a pre-c99 compiler
>> in 2006, and forget about the replacements.
>> ...

I strongly differ with those "Others".  There is NO WAY that one can
hope to produce portable code in 2006 using features specific to C99.

gcc's executable called "c99" is still not C99 conformant, nor is
glibc, and gcc 3.x and 4.x releases have about a 98% build failure
rate on almost all of my platforms (20+ flavors of Unix).

Only Intel icc (running on IA-32, AMD64, and IA-64 GNU/Linux systems
at my site for about two years), Sun Studio 10 c99 (running only since
11-Dec-2005), and HP-UX c99 claim to be fully conformant to the ISO
C99 Standard.  

There is no support whatever for that language level on IRIX MIPS,
FreeBSD IA-32, MacOS X PowerPC, NetBSD IA-32, OpenBSD IA-32, OSF/1
Alpha, AIX 4.x Power, Altix IA-64, or GNU/Linux on Alpha, MIPS,
PowerPC, and SPARC.

Historically, it takes about TEN YEARS for compilers to be widely
available for an ANSI or ISO language standard.  Then there is
additional delay because existing hardware won't run the new compilers
(e.g., Sun's c99 will only run on Solaris 10 systems, but that O/S
won't run on three of our running servers because they are no longer

I still have one running system that does not have a C89 compiler.
Nevertheless, I now assume a C89 environment in all of my C work, but
provide the ansi2knr tool as a fallback to make C89 code compile in a
K&R environment.

Please, let us be conservative in what we expect in the way of
language standards support.  Especially for TeXware, which we really
do need to run absolutely everywhere, including old machines.

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148                  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail: beebe at math.utah.edu  -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       beebe at acm.org  beebe at computer.org -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL: http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe/ -

More information about the pdftex mailing list