Unable to compile GCC-4.4.3, Pass 1

John Stephens jstephens at jkstephens.net
Sat Mar 27 08:15:51 PDT 2010

If I may add a few comments, seeing as I am the one who seems to have
initiated this latest round of discussions.

As for my background, I have been in the software industry for 25+
years, Linux nearly 14 years. I have read both read and written
technical reference and instructional manuals.  I have several years
of teaching technical subjects and mentoring new developers.

I became interested in a personal LFS project several years ago, but
only now coming around to finding the time to actually working on it.

My experience so far has been both good and frustrating.

For the record, I did read the book.  I am actually very impressed
with the way the text is laid out.  The text does a good job telling
you what you are doing, why, and what the components are for.

I had a frustrating first two days trying to get GCC compiling.  No
matter what I did, it seemed, GCC did not want to cooperate, and my
understanding of what was supposed to be happening and what was
happening differed.

I fully understood the "5.3" section.  It made sense and in fact,
seemed very obvious.  However the comments about having to build
binutils and GCC in different directories other then the normal source
lead me to believe that I should be working outside of the 'standard
source' structures for those packages.  Once I discussed it with Chris
I understood the paradigm, and then the other questions I had about
other areas of the text cleared up.  The wording in a couple of areas
probably needs to be 'tweaked'.  I'm not trying to be overly critical,
but as a "newbie" to the project I can say *I* missed the subtle
nuances.  For the record, I am up to section 5.13 and everything is
going well.

The second thing that threw me was the references to commands using
'../'.  I couldn't resolve in my mind where my point of reference was.
 But once I understood the paradigm, it became clear.

Now in full disclosure mode here, I did make a mistake and what I
suspect was the root of my problems.  Looking at the minimum
requirements, the packages required did not raise any flags to me.  I
am familiar with all of them and used them in the past.  On the
systems I use and have used in the past, those packages were installed
by default.  My mistake was I did not explicitly check to see if
Ubuntu 9.10 (the distro I am using for this project) included those
packages by default.  They do not.  After installing the four packages
missing, life became much easier.

Now I don't believe in the 'hit and run' mentality of many who may pop
into a project, complain about it, and run away.  If I am able to help
/ contribute to improving the process and documentation based on my
"experienced newbie" status, I would be very willing to post my
progress, foibles and successes.  I'm willing to do this as long as it
is fully understood that my intent is not to be critical, but to lend
a fresh pair of eyes to the project.  I would be willing to restart my
project and post my experiences (both good and bad), detailing my
observations, frustrations, and triumphs. I'll be brutally honest, as
long as it is understood that I am NOT attacking or criticizing any
one in particular, and as long as I am not ridiculed or needlessly
criticized.  Thoughts?  Comments?

Personally, I am grateful that there is a project like LFS available.
It has great value.  I would sincerely regret seeing a project like
this being dropped.

My thanks to the developers and maintainers of this project.

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