Follow @Openwall on Twitter for new release announcements and other news
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2022 05:39:24 +0200
From: Markus Wichmann <>
Cc: Gabriel Ravier <>,
	Joakim Sindholt <>
Subject: Re: ecvt(0, 0, ...) is broken

On Tue, Sep 06, 2022 at 03:19:51PM -0400, Rich Felker wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 06, 2022 at 08:48:26PM +0200, Markus Wichmann wrote:
> > On Tue, Sep 06, 2022 at 10:17:36AM -0400, Rich Felker wrote:
> > > But these are garbage functions. The
> > > right answer is to fix whatever is using them to use snprintf and move
> > > on.
> >
> > Well, then why not remove them from the lib? Any program using them
> > would invoke a link failure. Indeed, for GCC, the declarations could be
> > retained and an error attribute be added. Configure tests would fail to
> > find these functions and possibly switch on alternative paths.
> >
> > Of course, that is not ABI compatible. But isn't excising broken
> > functions better than retaining them?
> If that were the case we would have removed gets, so no.

That would have been the next function on my hit list.

Alright, next idea then: Could we put a linker warning on these
functions to encourage users to switch? That would not break ABI, as all
symbols are still there and the functions do what they are supposed to
(as well as we ever implemented them, at least). But new compilations
would get a nag to make them stop.

Unfortunately, it is possible that a configure script may misinterpret
these warnings as errors, and if it was set up to test for a function's
existence and the function is mandatory, then that script would fail
when previously, it would succeed.

What I'm trying to get at more generally here is a mechanism for
deprecating libc functions. Because apparently we have amassed a few
junk functions that people should not keep using. And experience
suggests that merely documenting this state of affairs will not change
it, since developers only ever read documentation after things go wrong.


Powered by blists - more mailing lists

Confused about mailing lists and their use? Read about mailing lists on Wikipedia and check out these guidelines on proper formatting of your messages.