Posted Oct 6, 2008 16:50 UTC (Mon) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
Parent article: Plugging into GCC
I'm a bit surprised that nobody's patched in a plugin API in the past year. It is unquestionably legal for somebody to fork GCC and add support for a plugin architecture of their own design. And plugins would be derived from the plugin architecture, and need to be compatible with the license given for it, not for GCC in general. It wouldn't matter too much whether the fork would become the official version, since it would be the version of choice for people doing compiler research. It would also have a reasonable chance of overtaking the official fork if it was an easier environment for useful optimizations than the GCC mainline, like egcs overtook the main branch a while ago.
The core point of free software is that users can work together to work around a software provider who refuses to make the software serve the needs of the users. This applies even if the provider is the FSF and the provider's motivation is supporting the larger free software agenda.