Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Sep 2007 21:26 UTC, submitted by Chris Lattner
General Development The LLVM Project recently released a new version of their compiler, optimizer and code generators. LLVM includes a drop-in GCC-compatible C/C++ and ObjC compiler, mature optimization technology (including cross file/whole program optimization), and a highly optimizing code generator. For people who enjoy hacking on compilers and runtimes, LLVM provides libraries for implementing custom optimizers and code generators including JIT compiler support. This release is the first to provide beta GCC 4.2 compatibility as well as the new "clang" C/ObjC front-end, which provides capabilities to build source-to-source translators and many other tools.
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I believe that allowing proprietary compiler backends can allow hardware firms to produce new chips with a smaller investment. GCC could have been the compiler that would plug into chip-specific codegen modules, but it was specifically designed to disallow this, because the FSF people are so small-minded and ungenerous (hint: even if a commercial company takes your code and tries to sell it to people, you haven't lost the code you've written, and with sufficient patent-lefting, you can always catch up to their improvements).

LLVM is designed in a better way to allow plugins to be made. It could become the backbone around which people bring new kinds of processors with differring codegen requirements to market. Even without that, as sbergman says, competiton is always a good thing.

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