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11.3. Interoperation

This section lists various difficulties encountered in using GCC together with other compilers or with the assemblers, linkers, libraries and debuggers on certain systems.

  • On many platforms, GCC supports a different ABI for C++ than do other compilers, so the object files compiled by GCC cannot be used with object files generated by another C++ compiler.

    An area where the difference is most apparent is name mangling. The use of different name mangling is intentional, to protect you from more subtle problems. Compilers differ as to many internal details of C++ implementation, including: how class instances are laid out, how multiple inheritance is implemented, and how virtual function calls are handled. If the name encoding were made the same, your programs would link against libraries provided from other compilers--but the programs would then crash when run. Incompatible libraries are then detected at link time, rather than at run time.

  • Older GDB versions sometimes fail to read the output of GCC version 2. If you have trouble, get GDB version 4.4 or later.

  • DBX rejects some files produced by GCC, though it accepts similar constructs in output from PCC. Until someone can supply a coherent description of what is valid DBX input and what is not, there is nothing that can be done about these problems.

  • The GNU assembler (GAS) does not support PIC. To generate PIC code, you must use some other assembler, such as /bin/as.

  • On some BSD systems, including some versions of Ultrix, use of profiling causes static variable destructors (currently used only in C++) not to be run.

  • On some SGI systems, when you use -lgl_s as an option, it gets translated magically to -lgl_s -lX11_s -lc_s. Naturally, this does not happen when you use GCC. You must specify all three options explicitly.

  • On a SPARC, GCC aligns all values of type double on an 8-byte boundary, and it expects every double to be so aligned. The Sun compiler usually gives double values 8-byte alignment, with one exception: function arguments of type double may not be aligned.

    As a result, if a function compiled with Sun CC takes the address of an argument of type double and passes this pointer of type double * to a function compiled with GCC, dereferencing the pointer may cause a fatal signal.

    One way to solve this problem is to compile your entire program with GCC. Another solution is to modify the function that is compiled with Sun CC to copy the argument into a local variable; local variables are always properly aligned. A third solution is to modify the function that uses the pointer to dereference it via the following function access_double instead of directly with *:

    inline double
    access_double (double *unaligned_ptr)
      union d2i { double d; int i[2]; };
      union d2i *p = (union d2i *) unaligned_ptr;
      union d2i u;
      u.i[0] = p->i[0];
      u.i[1] = p->i[1];
      return u.d;

    Storing into the pointer can be done likewise with the same union.

  • The solution is to not use the libmalloc.a library. Use instead malloc and related functions from libc.a; they do not have this problem.

  • Debugging (-g) is not supported on the HP PA machine, unless you use the preliminary GNU tools.

  • Taking the address of a label may generate errors from the HP-UX PA assembler. GAS for the PA does not have this problem.

  • Using floating point parameters for indirect calls to static functions will not work when using the HP assembler. There simply is no way for GCC to specify what registers hold arguments for static functions when using the HP assembler. GAS for the PA does not have this problem.

  • In extremely rare cases involving some very large functions you may receive errors from the HP linker complaining about an out of bounds unconditional branch offset. This used to occur more often in previous versions of GCC, but is now exceptionally rare. If you should run into it, you can work around by making your function smaller.

  • GCC compiled code sometimes emits warnings from the HP-UX assembler of the form:

    (warning) Use of GR3 when
      frame >= 8192 may cause conflict.

    These warnings are harmless and can be safely ignored.

  • On the IBM RS/6000, compiling code of the form

    extern int foo;
    … foo …
    static int foo;

    will cause the linker to report an undefined symbol foo. Although this behavior differs from most other systems, it is not a bug because redefining an extern variable as static is undefined in ISO C.

  • In extremely rare cases involving some very large functions you may receive errors from the AIX Assembler complaining about a displacement that is too large. If you should run into it, you can work around by making your function smaller.

  • The libstdc++.a library in GCC relies on the SVR4 dynamic linker semantics which merges global symbols between libraries and applications, especially necessary for C++ streams functionality. This is not the default behavior of AIX shared libraries and dynamic linking. libstdc++.a is built on AIX with "runtime-linking" enabled so that symbol merging can occur. To utilize this feature, the application linked with libstdc++.a must include the -Wl,-brtl flag on the link line. G++ cannot impose this because this option may interfere with the semantics of the user program and users may not always use g++ to link his or her application. Applications are not required to use the -Wl,-brtl flag on the link line--the rest of the libstdc++.a library which is not dependent on the symbol merging semantics will continue to function correctly.

  • An application can interpose its own definition of functions for functions invoked by libstdc++.a with "runtime-linking" enabled on AIX. To accomplish this the application must be linked with "runtime-linking" option and the functions explicitly must be exported by the application (-Wl,-brtl,-bE:exportfile).

  • AIX on the RS/6000 provides support (NLS) for environments outside of the United States. Compilers and assemblers use NLS to support locale-specific representations of various objects including floating-point numbers (. vs , for separating decimal fractions). There have been problems reported where the library linked with GCC does not produce the same floating-point formats that the assembler accepts. If you have this problem, set the LANG environment variable to C or En_US.

  • Even if you specify -fdollars-in-identifiers, you cannot successfully use $ in identifiers on the RS/6000 due to a restriction in the IBM assembler. GAS supports these identifiers.

  • On Ultrix, the Fortran compiler expects registers 2 through 5 to be saved by function calls. However, the C compiler uses conventions compatible with BSD Unix: registers 2 through 5 may be clobbered by function calls.

    GCC uses the same convention as the Ultrix C compiler. You can use these options to produce code compatible with the Fortran compiler:

    -fcall-saved-r2 -fcall-saved-r3 -fcall-saved-r4 -fcall-saved-r5

  • On the Alpha, you may get assembler errors about invalid syntax as a result of floating point constants. This is due to a bug in the C library functions ecvt, fcvt and gcvt. Given valid floating point numbers, they sometimes print NaN.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire