Re: [PATCH] x86: Deprecate a.out support

From: Michael Cree
Date: Tue Mar 12 2019 - 03:19:55 EST

On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 03:11:55PM -0700, Matt Turner wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 2:34 PM Arnd Bergmann <arnd@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 8:47 PM Måns Rullgård <mans@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > Linus Torvalds <torvalds@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> > > > On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 11:08 AM Måns Rullgård <mans@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > > We don't have any specific support for ECOFF.
> > > >
> > > > I _think_. Again, it's been years and years.

I agree. I personally have never run any OSF/1 executables on
Linux Alpha and have no interest in doing so.

> > The main historic use case I've heard of was running Netscape
> > Navigator on Alpha Linux, before there was an open source version.
> > Doing this today to connect to the open internet is probably
> > a bit pointless, but there may be other use cases.
> The best use case I know of is to run their C compiler. Måns sent
> patches in fact to make it work.
> There is a Linux version of the same compiler but I have a vague
> memory that it's broken in various ways that the Tru64 version is
> not.

The last time I tried the Compaq C compiler for Alpha-Linux it still
worked, well, that is, the compiler worked, but the library header
files are broken and haven't worked with glibc for a long time. So
it is only useful as a free-standing compiler.

In the past it also produced better code than gcc, but gcc is now
so vastly improved w.r.t. optimisation and compliance to more recent
standards, that I would be surprised if there is any real use for
the Compaq compiler.