Re: Assertions in principle

"Alf P. Steinbach" <>
Tue, 06 Mar 2007 09:31:56 +0100
* Greg Herlihy:

On 3/5/07 9:14 AM, in article, "Alf P.
Steinbach" <> wrote:

* Greg Herlihy:

I think that a better compiler would have the asserts turned off. The
point here is that a more thoroughly-tested compiler would see no
benefit from shipping with its asserts enabled. Shipping a program
with asserts enabled can only mean that the software has not been
adequately tested. So in this case, anyone who uses g++ is
effectively participates in the product's QA.

And while such an arrangement may be reasonable for a free product
like g++, it probably won't fly for those who program with a $500 C++

As they say, that's not even wrong. $500-compilers do produce Internal
Compiler Errors. And g++'s free support is superior to e.g. Microsoft's
non-existent free support.

I see you disagree with several points that are not in my post, but it would
be interesting to know whether you take issue with anything that I actually
wrote. After all, I offered no opinion whether a $500 compiler crashes any
less often than a free C++ compiler - only that some who spends $500 on a
compiler (such as the Intel compiler) but be expecting something different
than would expect from a free compiler.

Insights into people's actual expectations are probably better discussed
in an ESP or psychology group.


I have used commercial programs - but I never remember using a shipping
version of a commercial program that had its asserts enabled. And until
programmers start writing software that does not fail often enough, I doubt
I'll be seeing asserts in shipping commercial software anytime soon.

The commercial version of MSVC is one commercial compiler (in the price
range you mention, the 7.1 version with documentation was about 13.000
NKr) that ships with asserts enabled -- it ICEs regularly.

For that matter, even Windows Explorer, the Windows GUI, ships with
asserts, or an equivalent mechanism, enabled, doing a report-and-restart
when it crashes.

For an honest and competent developer it's lunacy to turn off asserts.

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