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Am I reading this right? He says he is comparing clang 3.8, which is a month old, to gcc 4.8, which branched over 3 years ago. I would rather see what gcc 6 does with this. That release should happen in a month or so.

The only gcov-related change listed in the 4.9, 5 and 6 release notes is the addition of a new tool, so I wouldn't expect there to be meaningful changes.

Regardless, I think the author's conclusion is overly specific and really should have just been "trying all of the various tools for doing something is useful even if they're theoretically comparable".

I wouldn't read too much into the article. It's just a blog post of a dude reporting what he saw when he recompiled his code with a different compiler.

Aye, but it shows something important. Testing your work with other toolchains and toolings can help discover weaknesses not only in your code, but in the rest of your tooling. Strength in numbers is useful.

Thanks for pointing out how old GCC 4.8 is! You're right that a comparison against a later version of GCC is fairer - I've tested with GCC 5.3 (the latest I can easily get) and updated the blog post. (5.3 doesn't spot the missing coverage either.)

That is great, thanks. It just seemed odd to compare compilers of such different age. I have nothing against clang, it certainly is faster in most cases.

As others said, it makes sense for everyone to try different toolchains and see what works. It is possible to test newer gcc versions by installing in /opt or something, just make sure to get the right libstdc++ at runtime. With ABI changes, updating the distro gcc is too much trouble.

Very good point. I missed that.

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