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Re: Defending GCC considered futile

From: Perry E. Metzger
Subject: Re: Defending GCC considered futile
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:42:29 -0500

On Tue, 10 Feb 2015 17:48:11 -0500 Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
>   > Because the rest of the compiler wasn't intentionally
>   > made non-modular,
> Neither was GCC.
> I wrote GCC to be as modular as I knew how to do -- while getting it
> to work as fast as I could.  Maybe I could have made it more modular
> if I had worked on it slowly for ten years aiming for elegance, but
> it was imperative to have a compiler as soon as possible
> so as to have a GNU system as soon as possible.

Yes, but that was long ago. More recently people have worked to make
GCC more modular and to re-use of GCC for other work, but much such
work seems to have been discouraged.

As just one example, there was a big debate recently about allowing
access to GCC's internal ASTs in order to permit Emacs completion.
You were a participant in that debate. You indicated during that
debate that you did not want just any program to get access to GCC
internal interfaces.

Whether you knew how to make GCC more modular or not at the start, we
now know how to make such code far more reusable, but you have
explicitly said that doing so is dangerous and that you don't want it
very general modular compiler architectures. 

If I am mischaracterizing your position, I'm doing it in some subtle
way that I am unaware of and would appreciate further clarification
of your position.

Perry E. Metzger                address@hidden

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