Ada: yes or no?

Spencer Collyer spencer at
Sat May 18 01:41:02 PDT 2002

On Sat, 18 May 2002 00:11:25 +0100, Ian Molton wrote:
> > 
> > I think the important part is the fact that it comes as part of the
> > GCC.
> The GCC is broken up into *6* packages, so ada is an OPTIONAL part fo
> the package, just like (say) gnome-print is an optional part of GNOME.

Although I suspect, if you took a poll, most people would say that they
considered the GCC to be a single entity.

> the gcc team provide an 'all in one' package, but that doesnt mean you
> have to install it all.
> We could actually save about 10MB of downloads if we only supplied
> gcc-core and gcc-g++ tarballs, instead of the 'all in one'.
> perhaps we should? 10MB is a LOT.

Especially when, like me, you are still using a dialup line. That's why I
bought a CD with LFS3.3 on from the Linux Emporium - much more convenient.
I do, however, still feel that the current policy is the correct one,
otherwise we would end up with lfs-support being flooded by people who
need, say, Fortran support, know that it exists in the GCC, but can't get
it working (because it ain't there in the download). You'd need to include
a note for these people telling them that if they want Fortran support
they don't just need to include it in the GCC build, but also need to dl
the appropriate package from the GCC.

> > Ada, however, needs
> > itself to build itself, while the other optional (to LFS) languages in
> > the GCC do not. I'm not aware that the same situation arises with any
> > other self-bootstrapping packages- either they aren't part of LFS, or
> > else we build them fully anyway
> Um. self-bootstrapping MEANS it depends on itself, by definition.

<sarcasm>No, really? I'd never have worked that one out.</sarcasm>

Seriously though, you appear to have ignored the second point, which is
what I was trying to make clear - to whit, self-bootstrapping packages in
LFS are installed completely, and any other self-bootstrapping packages
out there which are _NOT_ part of LFS are, quite rightly, simply not
mentioned. GNATS, however, seems to me to fall into a different category,
where we would end up only installing part of the entity that is the GCC
if we don't include it, but don't really want to include it because most
people will probably never have a need for it.

That's why I think a note along the following lines at the start of the
GCC installation steps in chapter 5 would be worth adding:

"Note for Ada programmers: Please refer to the Ada hint (http://blah) if
you wish to have Ada available on this LFS system. For everyone else, if
you don't know what Ada is you don't need it (unless you really want to
increase your build time enormously :-) )"

OK, maybe the last bit is a little too flippant, but you get the idea. I
don't see how adding those few lines would make the book any less clear,
or increase the amount of messages flooding lfs-support.


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