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Re: Automated Reference Counting (Was: Disappointed by GNUstep)

From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: Automated Reference Counting (Was: Disappointed by GNUstep)
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2022 14:19:03 +0000

> On 8 Feb 2022, at 13:01, David Chisnall <> wrote:
> On 08/02/2022 12:40, Richard Frith-Macdonald wrote:
>>> On 8 Feb 2022, at 11:01, David Chisnall<>  wrote:
>>>   I could write significantly simpler code that ran faster using 
>>> Objective-C++ and ARC than I could without either and GNUstep would not 
>>> accept the less-buggy and faster option.  Refactoring code to make it less 
>>> maintainable so that it could compile with an old compiler and spending 
>>> time finding bugs that are impossible by construction with ARC felt like a 
>>> complete waste of my time.
>> Well that could be a bit misleading: while GNUstep policy has not accepted 
>> breaking the portability of existing code it has never prohibited the 
>> addition of new non-portable features (though obviously portable is 
>> preferred).
> The granularity for enabling ARC is per compilation unit, which meant that it 
> could be used for entirely new classes, but not for much else, and even then 
> some of the private GNUstep headers are not ARC-safe (e.g. GSIMap.h) and so 
> you'd end up with two completely segregated worlds within the same codebase.

Sure, it's not a problem at all.  New features (substantial ones anyway) almost 
always mean new classes.  The ability to select ARC for some files and not for 
others has worked very nicely for me.

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