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GCC 4.0 A Review for AMD and Intel Processors

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If any one piece of software is the foundation of Free Software, it is the GNU Compiler Collection. The release of version 4.0 in mid-April brings many changes and new features. In this review, I compare the newly-released 4.0 with 3.4.3, using a few real world applications in C and C++.

I won't be discussing Objective-C, Java, or Ada, since I don't use those aspects of GCC. I will be talking a bit about th new Fortran 95 compiler, though.

Another item I won't be covering herein is Intel's (or anyone else's) commercial compiler. At this point in time, information from older articles holds true, in that Intel's compiler generally produces faster code than does any version of GCC. I've found that Intel's EM64T compiler works just fine on my Opteron systems, and its code is also excellent. But this article is about the evolution of GCC, leaving debates over commercial products for other times and places.

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Programming: Python 2.*, Functional Computation, and Plagiarism in CS

  • 1.5 Year Warning: Python2 will be End of Lifed
    The end of upstream Python 2.7 support will be January 1, 2020 (2020-01-01) and the Fedora Project is working out what to do with it. As Fedora 29 would be released in 2019-11 and would get 1.5 years of support, the last release which would be considered supportable would be the upcoming release of Fedora 28. This is why the current Python maintainers are looking to orphan python2. They have made a list of the packages that would be affected by this and have started a discussion on the Fedora development lists, but people who only see notes of this from blogs or LWN posts may not have seen it yet.
  • Why is functional programming seen as the opposite of OOP rather than an addition to it?

    So: both OOP and functional computation can be completely compatible (and should be!). There is no reason to munge state in objects, and there is no reason to invent “monads” in FP. We just have to realize that “computers are simulators” and figure out what to simulate.

  • Why we still can’t stop plagiarism in undergraduate computer science

    The most important goal is to keep the course fair for students who do honest work. Instructors must assign grades that accurately reflect performance. A student who grapples with a problem — becoming a stronger programmer in the process — should never receive a lower grade than one who copies and pastes.


    University administrators should communicate their support. Instructors should know that, not only will they suffer no retaliation, but that the university encourages them to enforce university policies. This might require administrators to acknowledge the inconvenient truth of widespread plagiarism.