[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Defending GCC considered futile

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: Defending GCC considered futile
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2015 15:29:52 -0500 (EST)

Speking as the original author of GUD, I'm in favor of it supporting
LLVM and everything else imaginable.  But I hadn't been planning to
weigh in on the question until I realize that Richard and everyone
else may be carrying around a false premise: namely, that GCC's 
dominance in its functional category *can* be preserved.

I'm pretty sure this is not true.  If the clang/LLVM people decide
they want to eat GCC's lunch, they *will* do it.  The reason has
nothing to do with any philosophical issue but merely the fact that
compiler technology has advanced significantly in ways that GCC is not
well positioned to exploit.  The clang/LLVM people have both a
clean-sheet technology advantage and Apple's money to fund a
high-quality implementation with; FSF cannot match either.

Already my own experiments suggest that LLVM is a superior compiler,
by every metric I know of, at least in deployments that don't require
bug-for-bug compatibility with GCC.  If GCC were to vanish from
existence tomorrow I'm not sure I myself would be even seriously
inconvenienced.  CC=clang in one dotfile; problem solved, done.

Obsolescence happens; this is nobody's fault.  It will happen to
clang/LLVM someday, too, but today is not that day.

I don't have to completely agree with FSF's strategic goals to advise
that its planning needs to take this into account.  The probable near
future obsolescence of GCC means the positive positioning of Emacs is
*more* important.  The absolute last thing you want to do is make it
less attractive to clang/LLVM users.

TL;DR: You can't beat clang. Join it.
                <a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.
Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact
amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will
continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they
oppress.        -- Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]