[Python-Dev] C99

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Tue Jun 7 16:54:04 EDT 2016

On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 12:37 PM, Sturla Molden <sturla.molden at gmail.com> wrote:
> Victor Stinner <victor.stinner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Is it worth to support a compiler that in 2016 doesn't support the C
>> standard released in 1999, 17 years ago?
> MSVC only supports C99 when its needed for C++11 or some MS extension to C.
> Is it worth supporting MSVC? If not, we have Intel C, Clang and Cygwin GCC
> are the viable options we have on Windows (and perhaps Embarcadero, but I
> haven't used C++ builder for a very long time). Even MinGW does not fully
> support C99, because it depends on Microsoft's CRT. If we think MSVC and
> MinGW are worth supporting, we cannot just use C99 indiscriminantly.

No-one's proposing to use C99 indiscriminately; AFAICT the proposal
was: it would make a big difference if the CPython core could start
using some of C99's basic features like long long, inline functions,
and mid-block declarations, and all interesting compilers support
these, so let's officially switch from C89-only to
C89-plus-the-bits-of-C99-that-MSVC-supports. This would be a big
improvement and is just a matter of recognizing the status quo; no
need to drag in anything controversial.

There's no chance that CPython is going to drop MSVC support in 3.6.
Intel C is hardly a viable option given that the license requires the
people running the compiler to accept unbounded liability for Intel
lawyer bills and imposes non-DFSG-free conditions on the compiled
output. And Cygwin GCC isn't even real Windows. Maybe switching to
Clang will make sense in 3.7 but that's a long ways off...


Nathaniel J. Smith -- https://vorpus.org

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