[R] RPM of R-1.2.1 for RH 7?

Martyn Plummer plummer at iarc.fr
Wed Jan 24 11:01:32 CET 2001

On 23-Jan-01 Peter Dalgaard BSA wrote:
> Yup. Even though Brian (and many otheres with him) is right that
> RedHat pulled a terrible stunt with this compiler-"release", they seem
> to have landed the thing on its feet, not least due to very bright
> people like Jakub Jelinek who have been handling the reports of
> compiler bugs we triggered entirely sensibly.

This is a little off-topic but I would like to say my piece.

I would like to echo Peter's praise of Jakub, who has not only been very
efficient in fixing these bugs but also remained polite and calm in the
face of considerable hostility.

Don't forget that a lot of ordinary users (myself included) had to track
down these bugs and submit short test programs that Jakub could work with.
Most, if not all, of these users would not normally choose to use such
bleeding-edge software, and there has consequently been a loss of good
will.  This is the heart of the problem: Red Hat broke one of the many
rules of etiquette in the open source community by releasing gcc 2.96.
Only the gcc development team is responsible for deciding when gcc is
ready for general use, and the same is true for all the other components
of a GNU/Linux system. If Red Hat don't respect this then they will lose
their user base.

If I may speculate on the reasons why Red Hat pulled this trick, I suspect
that they switched the development version of their distribution to gcc
2.96 thinking that it would have stabilized to gcc 3.0 by the time Red
Hat 7.0 was released. But they were wrong (Current estimate for gcc 3.0 is
end Q1 2001).  The need to generate some revenue from distribution sales
forced them to release 7.0, rather than wait.  This is pure speculation
of course, but it is a scenario that makes them appear rational, if
somewhat optimistic.

Finally I should point out that gcc 2.96 still doesn't compile R
correctly on alpha.

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