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#ifdef Considered Harmful, or Portability Experience with C News
Henry Spencer, University of Toronto; Geoff Collyer, Software Tool & Die
We believe that a C programmer's impulse to use #ifdef in an attempt at portability is usually a mistake. Portability is generally the result of advance planning rather than trench warfare involving #ifdef. In the course of developing C News on different systems, we evolved various tactics for dealing with differences among systems without producing a welter of #ifdef at points of difference. We discuss the alternatives to, and occasional proper use of, #ifdef.