g77.info: Other Compilers

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Other Compilers

   An individual Fortran source file can be compiled to an object
(`*.o') file instead of to the final program executable.  This allows
several portions of a program to be compiled at different times and
linked together whenever a new version of the program is needed.
However, it introduces the issue of "object compatibility" across the
various object files (and libraries, or `*.a' files) that are linked
together to produce any particular executable file.
   Object compatibility is an issue when combining, in one program,
Fortran code compiled by more than one compiler (or more than one
configuration of a compiler).  If the compilers disagree on how to
transform the names of procedures, there will normally be errors when
linking such programs.  Worse, if the compilers agree on naming, but
disagree on issues like how to pass parameters, return arguments, and
lay out `COMMON' areas, the earliest detected errors might be the
incorrect results produced by the program (and that assumes these
errors are detected, which is not always the case).
   Normally, `g77' generates code that is object-compatible with code
generated by a version of `f2c' configured (with, for example, `f2c.h'
definitions) to be generally compatible with `g77' as built by `gcc'.
(Normally, `f2c' will, by default, conform to the appropriate
configuration, but it is possible that older or perhaps even newer
versions of `f2c', or versions having certain configuration changes to
`f2c' internals, will produce object files that are incompatible with
   For example, a Fortran string subroutine argument will become two
arguments on the C side: a `char *' and an `int' length.
   Much of this compatibility results from the fact that `g77' uses the
same run-time library, `libf2c', used by `f2c', though `g77' gives its
version the name `libg2c' so as to avoid conflicts when linking,
installing them in the same directories, and so on.
   Other compilers might or might not generate code that is
object-compatible with `libg2c' and current `g77', and some might offer
such compatibility only when explicitly selected via a command-line
option to the compiler.
   _Note: This portion of the documentation definitely needs a lot of