GCC gets a new Optimizer Framework
Posted May 13, 2004 17:17 UTC (Thu) by JoeBuck
In reply to: GCC gets a new Optimizer Framework
Parent article: GCC gets a new Optimizer Framework
While there are a variety of useful debugging dumps from GCC, the FSF is strongly opposed to mechanisms that would allow the complete internal state to be dumped and reloaded (for example, a complete XML representation of the parse trees), because a variety of people will quickly use such mechanisms to add proprietary optimization passes and back ends to GCC, instead of contributing that code in source form under the GPL to GCC. To support their argument, they point out that we only have a GNU C++ front end and a GNU Objective-C front end because these types of interfaces were not present at the time these front ends were developed (in both cases, companies involved tried to find legal ways of making their employees' work proprietary, then gave up and contributed the code).
The FSF will not try to prevent other people from making or distributing "XML patches", but those kinds of patches won't be accepted for the official GCC.
At least, not now; it is possible that the policy will have to be relaxed at some point to properly support the C++ "export" keyword, in the sense that some form of pre-parsed external representation will have to be stored. And, in the case of Ada, there is a standard external representation, and the FSF is quite willing to let the GCC developers do what is necessary to support language standards.
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