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Re: [DotGNU]gcc?

From: Fergus Henderson
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]gcc?
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 02:09:40 +1100
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.22i


I've recently subscribed to this list, and I've just being going through the
mailing list archives and noticed a couple of articles that I thought worth
replying to.

On 05-Aug-2001, Keith Poole wrote:

> why couldn't the .GNU virtual machine use
> the gcc back-end to convert the IL?

and on 05-Aug-2001, David Sugar <address@hidden> replied
> There are philisphical reasons not to do this and why this won't be done.
> Consider this, what if one had a proprietary compiler tool chain for some 
> special proprietary "X" language that happend to generate IL.  This would mean
> that one could then use gcc to compile entirely source secret applications. 
> This would be a perversion of gcc.

This is *already* the case for proprietry "X" language compilers that
happen to generate C or JVM code -- both of which are currently more
popular than IL as target languages.  For example, the original C++
compiler "Cfront", which was and which remains proprietry, worked by
compiling to C.

Adding an IL front-end to GCC would not be making any fundamental change
in this respect.  It's just a matter of degree.  And I think that we
should worry about making things convenient for free software developers,
rather than about making things difficult for proprietry software developers.

Fergus Henderson <address@hidden>  | "... it seems to me that 15 years of
The University of Melbourne         | email is plenty for one lifetime."
WWW: <>  |     -- Prof. Donald E. Knuth

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