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[20080215] Article: Competition Among Open Source Compilers
Not exactly related to NetBSD, but definitely relevant: David Chisnall's article Competition Among Open Source Compilers talks about some alternatives to the GNU C Compiler (GCC), and why they are of interest to the operating system community (and thus NetBSD, too). Mentioned candidates include TenDRA, the Portable C Compiler (PCC), the Low Level Virtual Machine (LLVM), clang. The summary: ``Not having to rely on GCC is likely to benefit the BSD family quite a lot. GCC is designed fairly closely with GNU libc in mind, so the project is hesitant to accept improvements that don?t work with glibc (and, by extension, with most Linux systems).

Competition is usually a good thing; in open source projects, where ideas (and, ideally, code) can flow freely between the projects, everybody wins in the end. The more advanced architecture of LLVM makes it a good long-term bet for future systems, and the simple codebase of PCC makes it a good systems compiler. Both are likely to carve out a significant portion of market share in the next few years, giving developers more of choices for compiling their code.''

Those interested in trying PCC with pkgsrc can set "PKGSRC_COMPILER=pcc", see Jeremy Reed's blog entry and the the CVS commit log for more information. Also, see (hear :) the bsdtalk interview with Anders "Ragge" Magnusson.

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