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From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: LLVM
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 12:56:17 +0000

On 29 Feb 2008, at 16:56, David Chisnall wrote:

On 29 Feb 2008, at 16:39, address@hidden wrote:

IMHO, changing GNUstep in any way to require LLVM is generally not a
good move. It makes life even more difficult to have GNUstep included
in any Linux distribution because we can't influcence them to provide
a LLVM ObjC compiler. Or we have to maintain our own compilers.

To clarify:

I am categorically not advocating changing GNUstep to require LLVM. I am advocating (and implementing) changing LLVM to be able to compile GNUstep. I am also advocating (and plan on implementing) support in LLVM for compiling Objective-C (and later Io and Smalltalk) running atop my runtime. At which point, I will also contribute changes to GNUstep to allow it to run atop my runtime (as it already does on the GNU runtime and sometimes does on the NeXT/ Apple runtime).

I'd love to see support for your runtime in GNUstep (happy to add patches to gnustep-base to allow that).

However, it's not clear to me how that can be achieved using gcc ... since I was under the impression that your runtime was sufficiently different in behavior that it would need quite a bit of compiler support changes.

I completely understand your reluctance to work on gcc ... I've tried to hack gcc code in the past and found it pretty incomprehensible myself ... but would still advocate making the effort if possible (certainly, if you had gcc fixes to use your runtime to support objc-2.0 features I'd be keen to help lobby to get those changes into gcc). I would have hoped that Apples objc-2.0 contributions to the compiler would make it relatively easy to add support for objc-2.0 using your runtime ... you wouldn't have to start hacking gcc from scratch.

I feel we need to try to get objc-2.0 for gnustep, but if we do that by using a less widely available compiler we'll have to somehow try to keep support for people who need to use gcc with the current gnu runtime and that would probably be difficult. That wouldn't stop me going ahead and incorporating objc-2.0 features using LLVM though.

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