Home > IBM > IBM releases XL C/C++ high-perf optimizing compiler for Linux IBM releases XL C/C++ high-perf optimizing compiler for Linux Eugenia Loli 2005-02-13 IBM 19 Comments IBM releases XL C/C++ ( a high-performance optimizing compiler ) to Linux developers. XL C/C++ provides high compile and execution performance, parallel programming APIs, memory management debug routines, and runtime dynamic linking. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 19 Comments 2005-02-13 10:07 pm Anonymous if so PPC Linux is gonna kick butt. 2005-02-13 10:14 pm Anonymous Not free. 60-day evaluation. 2005-02-13 10:15 pm Anonymous Seems to be a 60-day evaluation. Price on the ibm shop is $499 and $749 (depending on license..) Seems to be a rather appealing alternative for G5/POWER5 systems anyway. I wonder how well gcc4 will compare? 2005-02-14 12:09 am Anonymous 3 reasons why the IBM compiler doesn’t work. 1. try installing two different versions of this compiler on the same machine – it just doesn’t work, doesn’t install properly, and you need a guru to allow for different versions of the compiler to play nice with one another. 1. Try doing a parallel build with the template registry (yes you need to use C++ for this) and watch the compiler segfault and cause errors to your executable. 3. File a bug report and wait 3 months until you hear back from IBM – and then all subsequent conversations will be with different people. Microsoft has far far better support than IBM – and it shows. — I should be fair – the compiler is very very fast – they have made some impressive speed improvements over VA6 (Visual Age 6.0). However, with distcc and a few linux boxes I can out compile even the fastest AIX box. It would behoof IBM’s Compiler team to make distcc play nice with the new xlC compiler. distcc is a great piece of software and it would prove that IBM is listening to it’s customers. It would even help out IBM’s own internal developments if they ported distcc to work with this compiler. IMHO, this compiler is built solely for these reasons: 1. to build AIX 2. to build DB2 3. to build purify,quantify At the moment these are IBM’s biggest cash cows in terms of new licensing and growth. I may be wrong so please let me know if there are other software products that bring in more than $100 new license revenue. Does anyone else have examples of software products that are heavily dependent on the xlC compiler? I know oracle runs on AIX hardware – but I have heard that Oracle has not spent any time performance tuning for that platform because the don’t want to help sell IBM hardware. My gut feeling is that IBM wants to be the brains behind PPC linux and they need to get their compiler out there for people to experiment with. If linux gains momentum on the POWER and PPC chips then gcc won’t be far behind – IBM has learned from Intel in this matter. Intel put out the intel compiler for linux and it is has generated a few million dollars in revenue for them – not to mention mindshare. Intel isn’t afraid of pissing off Microsoft in order to sell more chips. However, Intel needs to figure out howto keep up with AMD in the x86 performance race. 2005-02-14 12:18 am Anonymous Now, all people blame on IBM cause its compiler isn’t open source… right? Oh no! That’s for Sun only. X-D 2005-02-14 1:30 am Anonymous – point 2: parallel build… Is this something you commmonly do? – Why would Oracle care what box you run Oracle on? I would think the cost on AIX would be More Expensive then the cost on Linux. Secondly, an Oracle user on AIX would be more likely to buy more advanced Oracle features. ( But, that’s just the way I see it. ) 2005-02-14 2:48 am Anonymous – point 2: parallel build… Is this something you commmonly do? I infact mostly use gmake -j 4 (or at least gmake -j2). Most developers these days can use parallel compiles (given that cpu cycles are cheap). 2005-02-14 2:51 am Anonymous I posted on this on osnews (re: mac) and speed gains. Have a look at some number crunching here: http://osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=9670&offset=75&rows=90#333964 This was with -O3. -O5 compiles take very long, break on parallel makes with segfaults but once done see a marginal increase in performance vs. gcc. BTW, does anyone know how the licensing works? Do you buy a license key or does this version expire after 60 days? 2005-02-14 3:13 am Anonymous The only one here saying this product was released open source is you. Sun, on the other hand, says they’re going to open source everything and never forgets to remind me how much software they give away, etc. It gets annoying, after a while I wish they’d just stop. I’d rather not get something for free than have to thank Sun for it. 2005-02-14 4:55 am Anonymous This is good stuff. So IBM presents a highly optimized compiler for Linux. This means more mindshare, and critical mass for Linux. 2005-02-14 6:18 am Anonymous yes, parallel builds are something that almost every application does to save time – especially if they have a 2way or 4way box. If you do serial make then you are not using the computer to it’s fullest extent – and your compilations take a very very long time. There are over 1 million LOC in my product, I am going to do everything in my power to parallelize builds. Even win32 developers people realize the power of parallel builds: http://www.xoreax.com/purchase_testimonials.htm I use parallel builds and so do many other people. Oracle doesn’t care what box you run Oracle on – however, they don’t want to necesarily want to give business to IBM either. I have friends that worked there and they all said that Oracle spends much more time tuning for IA64, pa-risc, x86, and sparc than POWER. I don’t blame oracle for doing so – it is good business sense. Basically if you want Oracle on AIX they aren’t going to say no – but they aren’t going to go out of their way to optimize it for you either. You are right that an AIX oracle user would probably buy more features than an Oracle linux user. I don’t know what stuff oracle bundles with their DB these days but needless to say they make most of their $$$ on the DB and very little on their apps. I would still like to know what other software makers use the AIX compiler. From my experience more people would rather support solaris than AIX. One other beef I have with the xlC compiler – the documentation is in a 600 page PDF – who has time to read through that long book ?? Please put your documentation up on the web in normal HTML – like HP (http://docs.hp.com/en/6159/index.htm) You can have a pdf as well – but please please please put it up in html for quick reference. 2005-02-14 8:53 am Anonymous Wow another one of the so called mofo OSS supporter releasing product for 60 days evaluation. IBM sucks a… All these companies like Red-shat, novell, ibm are trying to pimp linux by making it a whore for their benefits…shame on OSS developers who support them and call them nice when they all know that these companies won’t even spit on linux if there is no benefit to them… How can SUN or Microsoft be evil if these companies are doing the same thing? Yeah now come and lick my balls by saying that Red-shat contribute to OSS by releasing GPL’ed product, but do you really think it is doing that as charity? NO..it is doing this to keep its image clean and make sure it gets OSS free workers… So much for the OSS reli-**cking-gion 2005-02-14 9:35 am Anonymous Just because companies started to get involved in OSS does not mean the community sold out or is any worse off. You are a very naive, if you judge companies for doing things for their own good. What the hell would you expect them to do? 2005-02-14 11:09 am Anonymous If every company is doing for their own good, then tell me why SUN (or Microsoft) is evil and Red hat is not? Yeah i agree, Microsoft did use some monopolistic behavior in past and for that i too call them evil, but well IBM did too in past. Before IBM involved in OSS, it was supposed to be evil, now is it suddenly good? This is where it gets wrong. What i am trying to point out is the double standards followed by some of the OSS (and specially) GPL zealots. If a company is doing something for OSS it is good otherwise it is not. Even if that company (like red-hat) is doing good to OSS only for making money. How can you justify red-hat and not SUN for what they are doing? It is just a shame to see how so many educated people following OSS like a religion even if they have to follow double standards for it. 2005-02-14 12:46 pm Anonymous Never heard of this. Can it compile http://boost.org ? That’s the electric-koolaid acid-test of a compiler, these days. 2005-02-14 4:52 pm Anonymous So OSS (specially GPL) is all about that mean society which is only happy feeding each other? If tomorrow IBM doesn’t find benefit in you, it will be evil. LOL, it is the meanest attitude of a community i have seen. It is like saying, hey i don’t care if we curse the hardworking people of other companies to hell, make them look bad or even make them lose jobs, because they are not benefitting us. As long as something benefit us, we are fine. With your theorey every German (non-jew) should be happy with hitler even if he killed millions of jews. So lame. And again if you didn’t understand my point, i want people like you to acknowledge that Redhat, IBM, SUN, Microsoft and Oracle are for-profit companies and it doesn’t make one evil or angel, based on their support for OSS. Every company is trying to find a way to make profit and chosing what is best suited to it. 2005-02-14 10:03 pm Anonymous Wolf, Nobody said corporate organizations are charitable institutions. You conjured that from your anti-GPL imagination. As opposed to your simplistic theory, corporate organizations can be greedy and evil. Last time I checked, they are entities run by individuals, who equally can be greedy and evil. As an entity, I also like to make money and accumulate wealth. But there are legal moral and ethical limits as to how I pursue that objective. I wouldn’t, for example, starve others to acquire fortune. Based on that quality the society attributes a good quality to my legal, moral and ethical standards. Some people don’t mind starving others to acquire fortune. Are those people good or evil? Extend and translate that concept to corporations, which are entities like you and I by law, and the flaws in your entertaining works become evident. Certain emotions such as hatred becloud pure and critical thinking. Clearly, your judgments have been beclouded by your hatred for the GPL and the free and open source movement. I can only wonder what other religions, races, philosophies and movements you hate because you don’t share the same fundamental commonness with them. 2005-02-15 2:42 am Anonymous IBM stopped putting any real effort behind their compiler about 5 years ago. I don’t even know why they are releasing it for Linux instead of putting all the remaining good parts of it into GCC. Thanks for nothing but a distraction, IBM. 2005-02-16 8:08 pm Anonymous Aside from being offtopic, they are inflammatory and obscene.