CLANG vs GCC tests of fortran/f2c program

Chad Perrin perrin at
Thu Jun 21 23:03:19 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 05:50:24AM -0400, Thomas Mueller wrote:
> Snippet from Wojciech Puchar <wojtek at>:
> >
> > I successfully predicted the fall of linux (in quality point of view)
> > years ago, then netbsd - after this and my prediction were good.
> >
> > Now i predict FreeBSD will fall within 2015 time frame.
> > What i mean fall - that it would be better to use older version as long as
> > possible because newer are worse.
> >
> > For now
> >
> > - FreeBSD 6 was an improvement
> > - FreeBSD 7 was an improvement, except first releases but that's normal
> > - FreeBSD 8 was a big improvement in performance and quality.
> >
> > FreeBSD 9 as for now:
> >
> > - have similar performance at most
> > - have some improvement and important functionality like TRIM support.
> > - have some useful functionality like softdep journalling, but risky.
> > Still - forcing full check reveals some inconsistencies now and then.
> >
> > FreeBSD 10 will unlikely be better, but for sure slower unless you will
> > force gcc build that MAYBE will work. possibly not.
> My experience with NetBSD suggests you may be right there, but Linux?
> I'll have to build a new Linux installation and see for myself!
> I'm still inclined to say FreeBSD 9.0 is an improvement over 8.2; I never got to 8.3.

I can definitely vouch for his estimate of the quality of Linux-based
OSes, at least in the majority of cases.  I primarily used Debian for a
while, then went through a transitional period where I gradually phased
out Debian, until about half a dozen years was spent entirely Linux-free
(apart from the Linux kernel on a couple of embedded consumer devices),
during which time I used FreeBSD for everything.  Over the course of the
last -- well, more than a year, less than 1.5 years -- I have been
"forced" to use a Linux-based system again to get halfway decent graphics
support on a laptop I bought without checking hardware compatibility
carefully enough.

In the meantime, however, I have provided some support for other people
using Linux-based systems.  During that time, I had occasion to see a
Slackware installer hose an entire system (luckily with backups) that was
initially intended to be set up as a multi-boot with FreeBSD and MS
Windows; Ubuntu get cursed at great length with words like "If I wanted
to deal with this crap, I'd use Windows!"; and similar issues crop up.

Even so, installing Debian on my new laptop early last year (and trying
to install Arch Linux on it -- which didn't hose anything up, but did
fail to detect the free space on the hard drive, and thus failed to
install, before I decided it was easier to skip Arch) and using it since
then on a regular basis has been an eye-opener.  Myriad little
stupidities have crept into the system, including such wonders of
engineering brilliance as some documentation to the effect that basic
system network management tools were no longer guaranteed to work.

I have some pretty strong opinions about the way things are getting
broken in the Linux world, and some of the reasons this sort of problem
is growing, but they're increasingly off-topic for this venue.  Suffice
to say that I could write a short book about the subject, and still leave
a lot of problems unaddressed.

Anyway, switching from GCC to Clang has essentially nothing to do with
the kinds of problems we increasingly see in the Linux world.  In fact,
one of the biggest problems in the Linux world is the fact that GNU
projects have a tendency to degrade in quality over time and pretty
thoroughly undermine the Unix philosophy in egregious ways, which means
that the sooner we can divest ourselves of GNU tools (including GCC) the
better off we will probably be (though I would still advocate a measured
approach to replacing GNU tools, rather than a headlong rush without any

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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