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Re: [Tinycc-devel] tcc (arm) vs gcc

From: Rob Landley
Subject: Re: [Tinycc-devel] tcc (arm) vs gcc
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2006 21:14:20 -0400
User-agent: KMail/1.9.1

On Wednesday 06 September 2006 1:12 pm, Jens Thiele wrote:
> Hello,
> I am subscribed to this ml for quite some time. Unfortunetely it seems
> tcc development stalled.

Well QEMU really took off, and unlike tcc Fabrice is being paid to work on 
that by the Win4Lin guys, so it's not entirely surprising.

That said, there _is_ interest in tcc.  There's no other open source compiler 
that's this close to replacing gcc.  The optimizer may not be nearly as good 
as gcc's, but tccboot shows that getting tcc to build an unmodified Linux 
kernel is a finite amount of work.

I have a self-hosting development system based on BusyBox and uClibc (I.E. it 
can rebuild itself under itself from source code), and if I can get tcc to 
build the Linux Kernel, uClibc, BusyBox, and itself, then I'll have a 
self-hosting open source system without any GNU software in it at all.  (At 
that point I'll write a "make" and add it to busybox.  It's in susv3, so it's 
fair game.  I think I also need to upgrade BusyBox's "ar" so it can write, 
and possibly some other stuff but I'll handle all that once I get that 

Possibly one way to get Fabrice interested in tcc again is to try to build 
qemu with it. :)

> Similar to others I am looking for a working tcc arm version.

Has anybody ever used tcc as a cross-compiler?

> Now i just compiled a native arm gcc (toolchain) and stripped it down a
> bit. I was quite surprised that it isn't that big after all.
> It seems most people try to use tcc for some kind of "just in time"
> compilation in combination with some higher level language (at least I
> am trying to use libtcc in such a context)?
> Perhaps it would be a good idea to modify gcc/binutils to be suitable in
> such a scenario instead? (I would especially like to see a libtcc pendant)
> What do you think?

Modifying gcc/binutils to be small is like trying to go caneoing in the 
Titanic.  Heck of a refit, and the results won't be pretty.

Never bet against the cheap plastic solution.

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