[lug] Continuous Update Distros
zlynx at acm.org
Wed Sep 6 10:45:55 MDT 2006
On Tue, 2006-09-05 at 21:01 -0600, Collins Richey wrote:
> Certainly <OT> here and worthy of a new thread. I'm curious how well
> the continuous upgrade model can handle the continual urge of major
> components (glibc, gcc, kernel to name a few) to reinvent the APIs on
> a (seemingly and depressingly) continual basis.
Using Gentoo I have not noticed any problems of this sort. Once in a
while udev and the kernel will get out of sync, but lately people on
LKML have been beating up Greg KH when he breaks it, so hopefully that
will stop happening.
Glibc is quite good at compatibility. Once in a while I find an old
program that will not run but it is rare. More often you just need to
put up with annoying log messages about invalid uses of errno, and the
GCC 4 (and 3 in its day) have had a bad reputation for breaking
programs. What's really going on is bug fixing and standards
compliance. When C++ code fails to build on GCC 4, its getting the same
treatment Microsoft Visual Studio-only software gets when built with
GCC: standards compliance. More authors should try building with
alternate compilers like ICC. It's free (sorta).
The C++ ABI changes are more serious, and are the reason its nearly
impossible to ship dynamic-linked binary C++ code on Linux. But it
isn't nearly as bad now as it was 5 years ago. I've been upgrading my
Gentoo through GCC 4, 4.1, and 4.2-alpha, and haven't hit a serious
problem with the C++ ABI yet.
Zan Lynx <zlynx at acm.org>
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