[linux-elitists] Nobody's favorite language? C++ and free software

Alan DuBoff aland@SoftOrchestra.com
Tue Mar 25 20:36:22 PST 2003

On Tuesday 25 March 2003 14:19, Jason Spence wrote:
> I'm using the Intel compiler on Linux for my network visualization
> project

I just installed it, and have only produced a few compiles with it.

> Icc's ability to automatically generate the appropriate mix of
> SSE, SSE2, x87 FP, and MMX instructions has improved the speed of
> certain routines quite a bit.

In some cases I've seen the code it produces to be quite larger. I haven't 
done any optimization with it yet, but for some stuff linked to shared 
libraries it seems to produce a much larger binary.

Keep in mind that I'm mainly interested in the debugging capabilities right 
now and want to write an article on using the debugger with shared libraries 
and multi-threaded applications, an area that gcc/gdb has fallen short at in 
the past.

> Intel claims they're "C++ ABI conforming", too.

It looks like they do support quite a bit of the different mangling by 
various vendors, in fact if you just do a "xild --help" you will see many 
listed at the bottom.

> Intel has their own C++ libraries (which I suspect are from
> dinkumware), so you either have to add 500K of stuff to a statically
> compiled binary or distribute the runtime dlls with your project.

This is not so bad, but it would be nicer not to have to do that. For Linux 
you mean runtime shared libraries though, I guess.

libcxa.so.3 is only 250k, maybe I don't have it using everything yet.

> There's some magic
> juju you need to do to install it on Debian or other non-RPM
> distributions, so let me know if you want my installation notes.

I'd like to hear what you did to install it, I didn't want to chance it so 
what I did was install Red Hat 7.3 and installed it on. BTW, I consider this 
a short coming to the distribution, because they didn't say it requires Red 
Hat to install properly, and it doesn't say it's dependent on RPM to install, 
but there was some problems with the Berkeley DB files that it didn't like on 
Debian either. To play it safe I installed it on Red Hat, then tar'd it up 
and moved it to Debian. This is exactly what I have done in the past with 
MontaVista's HardHat, but their stuff will now work with alien. In Intel's 
case since there is a binary install, I wasn't sure if I could just alien the 
files and/or which ones were to be used.

Additionally, I had a Red Hat 6.2 which was the last VA CD produced. It 
didn't have a proper version of glibc, and Debian had the correct version, 
but Berkeley DB errors and RPM problems.

> Oh yeah, and it supports Itanium, but who cares

It bothers me that it doesn't support the Athlon, and I don't expect it to. 
Linux does support this processor well, and I don't need the hyperbole, err, 
I mean hyperthreading support on my systems.

I'm not totally convinced there is a large market for 64 bit processors yet, 
and if we look at Sun's SPARC processor as an example there has been little 
convincing reason for people to move to 64 bit, so the majority still runs on 
32 bit. Solaris x86 will run in 32 bit mode on the Opteron already, so it's 
hard to say how fast Sun will port their compiler and OS to 64 bit given the 
low demand for 64 bit SPARC to date. If Linux gets better at supporting 4-way 
and 8-way configurations this won't matter much, but the Solaris kernel still 
has advantages on SMP x86 configurations.


Alan DuBoff
Software Orchestration, Inc.
GPG: 1024D/B7A9EBEE 5E00 57CD 5336 5E0B 288B 4126 0D49 0D99 B7A9 EBEE

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