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Re: RFC: FSF GCC, #import (and #pragma once)

From: Adam Fedor
Subject: Re: RFC: FSF GCC, #import (and #pragma once)
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2003 11:19:54 -0700

On Friday, March 7, 2003, at 03:17 AM, David Ayers wrote:
But these don't seems like a prominent deprecationby Apple. The former seems like a advisory for dedicated implementation languages, yet ignores ObjC++, while the later is a release note bullet under the title of "Changes in Warnings". They are more weak acknowledgements that they recognize the issues. And most important of all, because they have not guarded their headers against multipleinclusion and continue to use #import within their headers themselves, it remains an academic discussion in relation to existing code base. Do you, or anyone else, have a reference to a more prominentstatement?

I wish Apple was clearer on their intentions also. I have no idea what they plan to do.

In my view, before the FSF should consider removing the support for #import, Apple must guard their headers, (probably stop using #import themselves), prominently deprecatethe usage, and maybe even remove it from their version of GCC. And even then, if FSF GCC still supported the (then old) Apple semantics of #import, the FSF might still consider continuing the support for a while just in case this might spur some projects to switch to GNUstep. (I do recognize that in the real world Apple will most certainly not remove the feature as long as FSF GCC has it.)

I believe the technical implications, of whether this or that implementation is correct or not, is secondary to that fact that the FSF GCC should encourage the use of free software by implementing a widely used feature. And this alone should cause the FSF to embrace the work of anyone syncing FSF's and Apple's semantics, no matter how broken Apple's semantics might be. This of course only applies to features that the FSF discourages anyway and are merely provided for compatibility, as is the case here. And I have no problem if this potentially broken feature were turned off by default and must be enabled explicitly..

This sounds like a good idea to me. Although the FSF cannot make decisions based on what Apple may or may not do. Keeping the option of using #import even if it is normally turned off would be a good idea.

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