Last change: 2002-01-26
Subject: A new compiler project to merge the existing GCC forks
A bunch of us (including Fortran, Linux, Intel and RTEMS hackers) have decided to start a more experimental development project, just like Cygnus and the FSF started the gcc2 project about 6 years ago. Only this time the net community with which we are working is larger! We are calling this project 'egcs' (pronounced 'eggs'). Why are we doing this? It's become increasingly clear in the course of hacking events that the FSF's needs for gcc2 are at odds with the objectives of many in the community who have done lots of hacking and improvment over the years. GCC is part of the FSF's publicity for the GNU project, as well as being the GNU system's compiler, so stability is paramount for them. On the other hand, Cygnus, the Linux folks, the pgcc folks, the Fortran folks and many others have done development work which has not yet gone into the GCC2 tree despite years of efforts to make it possible. This situation has resulted in a lot of strong words on the gcc2 mailing list which really is a shame since at the heart we all want the same thing: the continued success of gcc, the FSF, and Free Software in general. Apart from ill will, this is leading to great divergence which is increasingly making it harder for us all to work together -- It is almost as if we each had a proprietary compiler! Thus we are merging our efforts, building something that won't damage the stability of gcc2, so that we can have the best of both worlds. As you can see from the list below, we represent a diverse collection of streams of GCC development. These forks are painful and waste time; we are bringing our efforts together to simplify the development of new features. We expect that the gcc2 and egcs communities will continue to overlap to a great extent, since they're both working on GCC and both working on Free Software. All code will continue to be assigned to the FSF exactly as before and will be passed on to the gcc2 maintainers for ultimate inclusion into the gcc2 tree. Because the two projects have different objectives, there will be different sets of maintainers. Provisionally we have agreed that Jim Wilson is to act as the egcs maintainer and Jason Merrill as the maintainer of the egcs C++ front end. Craig Burley will continue to maintain the Fortran front end code in both efforts. What new features will be coming up soon? There is such a backlog of tested, un-merged-in features that we have been able to pick a useful initial set: New alias analysis support from John F. Carr. g77 (with some performance patches). A C++ repository for G++. A new instruction scheduler from IBM Haifa. A regmove pass (2-address machine optimizations that in future will help with compilation for the x86 and for now will help with some RISC machines). This will use the development snapshot of 3 August 97 as its base -- in other words we're not starting from the 18 month old gcc-2.7 release, but from a recent development snapshot with all the last 18 months' improvements, including major work on G++. We plan an initial release for the end of August. The second release will include some subset of the following: global cse and partial redundancy elimination. live range splitting. More features of IBM Haifa's instruction scheduling, including software pipelineing, and branch scheduling. sibling call opts. various new embedded targets. Further work on regmove. The egcs mailing list at cygnus.com will be used to discuss and prioritize these features. How to join: send mail to egcs-request at cygnus.com. That list is under majordomo. We have a web page that describes the various mailing lists and has this information at: http://www.cygnus.com/egcs. Alternatively, look for these releases as they spread through other projects such as RTEMS, Linux, etc. Come join us! David Henkel-Wallace (for the egcs members, who currently include, among others): Per Bothner Joe Buck Craig Burley John F. Carr Stan Cox David Edelsohn Kaveh R. Ghazi Richard Henderson David Henkel-Wallace Gordon Irlam Jakub Jelinek Kim Knuttila Gavin Koch Jeff Law Marc Lehmann H.J. Lu Jason Merrill Michael Meissner David S. Miller Toon Moene Jason Molenda Andreas Schwab Joel Sherrill Ian Lance Taylor Jim Wilson
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