11.1 Have You Found a Bug?
If you are not sure whether you have found a bug, here are some guidelines:
- If the compiler gets a fatal signal, for any input whatever, that is a compiler bug. Reliable compilers never crash.
- If the compiler produces invalid assembly code, for any input whatever
asmstatement), that is a compiler bug, unless the compiler reports errors (not just warnings) which would ordinarily prevent the assembler from being run.
- If the compiler produces valid assembly code that does not correctly
execute the input source code, that is a compiler bug.
However, you must double-check to make sure, because you may have a program whose behavior is undefined, which happened by chance to give the desired results with another C or C++ compiler.
For example, in many nonoptimizing compilers, you can write `x;' at the end of a function instead of `return x;', with the same results. But the value of the function is undefined if
returnis omitted; it is not a bug when GCC produces different results.
Problems often result from expressions with two increment operators, as in
f (*p++, *p++). Your previous compiler might have interpreted that expression the way you intended; GCC might interpret it another way. Neither compiler is wrong. The bug is in your code.
After you have localized the error to a single source line, it should be easy to check for these things. If your program is correct and well defined, you have found a compiler bug.
- If the compiler produces an error message for valid input, that is a compiler bug.
- If the compiler does not produce an error message for invalid input, that is a compiler bug. However, you should note that your idea of “invalid input” might be someone else's idea of “an extension” or “support for traditional practice”.
- If you are an experienced user of one of the languages GCC supports, your suggestions for improvement of GCC are welcome in any case.