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On Wed, 9 Sep 1998, Eric Norum wrote:

> "D. V. Henkel-Wallace" <gumby at zembu.com> wrote:
> Well......
> even with an `a.out' object file you might not be able to just use  
> `cmp' to check for differences since the debugging symbols could have  
> different line numbers (from
> brace-placement changes).

How about Srecords?  We all love and trust Srecords?

Now to be an alarmist but I have see cases where minor changes in the
structure of a program have changed the compiler output.  I do not know
that I have ever seen gcc suffer from this though.

If indent is strictly a comment reformatter and white space adjuster, then
this should not happen.

> An automated compare of object files before and after beautifying  
> would go a long way to addressing my concerns.

This would be a good thing for me to be able to do sometimes as well.  

> > My experience with free software projects that have many widely
> > scattered developers who don't know each other personally, clearly
> > shows that consistent coding, which includes formatting,
> > commenting, and other style and convention issues are extremely
> > important for long term maintainability. The literature shows that
> > the same is true of more traditional development projects.
> Yes, there's always the problem of ``Be reasonable......do it my  
> way'' in this.

So far I have managed to keep the style pretty consistent in the main
parts of the tree.  It is mainly the leaves like BSPs which suffer and are
the scariest to change. :)