[cfe-dev] Command line compiler options

David Blaikie dblaikie at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 08:31:06 PDT 2015

On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 7:20 AM, Edward Diener <
eldlistmailingz at tropicsoft.com> wrote:

> On 6/16/2015 11:43 PM, Nikola Smiljanic wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 11:22 AM, Edward Diener
>> <eldlistmailingz at tropicsoft.com
>> <mailto:eldlistmailingz at tropicsoft.com>> wrote:
>>     I would suggest that clang actually spend some time telling
>>     programmers how to use their product.
>> If only the compiler could document itself :)
>> On a more serious note, patches in this area are more than welcome. It
>> took me some time to realize this, but people working on clang are
>> mostly employed by companies that want them to work on whatever's
>> important to them. This means that those people know exactly how to use
>> the compiler. If you're buying a product based on clang then you can
>> request the company that's selling it to provide documentation. But for
>> you, me and everyone else using the open source compiler it means that
>> anything we see missing we'll have to do ourselves or just wait until
>> someone gets to it, if they do. I'm sure you'll find out the list of
>> possible values for -std switch, why not contribute a patch documenting
>> them once you do?
> I am not a clang contributor. I do use clang when testing Boost libraries
> and I am appreciative of the clang support I get here.
>> On a personal note, I find your tone unacceptable if you expect a
>> productive discussion.
> My "humor" was borne out of frustration. I need to know not only about the
> latest clang, but previous versions, because Boost supports many versions
> of many compilers in most of its libraries. I understand that clang
> developers work on the compiler itself and that documentation gets
> overlooked. But no matter how good the compiler is, if an end-user has a
> hard time using it because documentation is poor or entirely lacking in
> some areas, how much good will the product be to end-users ?

As an aside - a good chunk of the developers on the LLVM project are
employed to do so and the product works for their needs (Google, Apple,
etc). So there are pretty solid existence proofs that it's "good enough"
for many end-users in its current (very poorly documented) state & it's at
least for myself, it's hard to justify time invested in documenting command
line options (this doesn't come up often/at all from Google's internal
users so far as I recall) compared to more impactful feature development.

Not many developers on LLVM that I'm aware of are actively seeking/working
on wide external adoption in the broader community. Closest would be things
like the FreeBSD adoption of Clang, which I imagine would necessitate some
improved documentation for their users.

>  I understand your frustration as I've been there
>> many times but you have to understand that people in this community are
>> doing their best and are aware of shortcomings, which is why patches are
>> more than welcome.
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