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The View (or trip report) from the Oct 2009 C Standard meeting

By FANG LU posted Tue March 24, 2020 07:38 PM

This is the meeting that closes on all new features for the upcoming C1X Standard (with only a few minor known exceptions)

In this meeting, we processed a number of key issues. We incorporated a few additional details to the memory model and concurrency proposals taken from C++ Standardization. We moved zero-initialization for thread locals from 5.1.2p1 to integrate with 6.7.8p10

One proposal removed gets() from the standard. This has been a problematic function, and was made obsolete in TC3. The function gets() has been problematic because of uncertain newline removal. The answer for a long time is to use fgets() instead.

We reviewed whether C wishes to support a general syntax for attributes similar to C++. This was rejected as most members were uncomfortable with the need and the consequences. Instead, C will adapt keywords prefixed with a single underscore for future attributes. For example, the alignment proposal will use _Align.

Personally, I feel this will cause C more problems in the future as attributes proliferates. But I do not think it precludes future adaption of a generalized system, if the need becomes serious. although right now the consensus is that C does not want general system for attributes.

I also pitched the concept of a common vectorized type for C based on OpenCL. There was general enthusiasm for the feature as many felt the need to drive for future parallelization support based on many existing implementations of vector extensions. However, due to C1X being on a schedule for completion of features, and the relative size of this proposal, the members felt that this proposal need time to develop. Furthermore, there was interest in maintaining close liaison with OpenCL to ensure we do not create dialects of OpenCL if we were to pick subsets.

In the end, the meeting closed with great belief that we are on track to have a feature completed draft by the next meeting in April, 2010. This puts C on a very promising track to finish on time.
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