There was no free C compiler before GCC. What compiler were you using?
I didn't say it was before GCC, I said before I'd ever heard of GCC.
I don't remember the name - it was something I bought from a PD (Public Domain) library on floppy 15 to 20 years ago. It was a DOS program, supported the full C spec at the time (or as much of it as I used, apart from fork() obviously), and allowed me to write graphical programs for MSDOS5.
It was at least free as in beer, although I don't remember if the source was included or not. I stopped using it in 1992 when I started programming HPUX workstations.
The point is that if that FSF hadn't existed, if RMS didn't write GCC, someone else's C compiler would have taken its place as the compiler of choice simply because other people were writing those sorts of thing at the time anyway. The Public Domain scene was *massive* for a time during the 80's and early 90's before Internet access became more widespread.
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