Monday, March 11, 2002

Re: Converting the gcc backend to a library?
To: gcc at gcc dot gnu dot org
Subject: Re: Converting the gcc backend to a library?
From: Richard Stallman
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 19:51:25 -0700 (MST)
Reply-to: rms at gnu dot org

Companies often try to make software non-free, and some would write
non-free add-ons to GCC if we let them. The reason we have free C
and Objective C support is because the companies which wrote these
front ends had no *feasible* way to use them without making them part
of GCC, where the GPL required them to be free. It is vital that we
preserve this situation.

Anything that makes it easier to use GCC back ends without GCC front
ends--or simply brings GCC a big step closer to a form that would make
such usage easy--would endanger our leverage for causing new front
ends to be free.

Because of this, the GNU Project will in all probability not install
such changes, should they be available. This statement reflects a
firm conclusion based on a decade of thought.

I ask anyone who would like to make such changes in GCC to please
contact me privately. I would like to talk with you about the ideas
you are interested in working on, to look at the magnitude of their
potential benefits, and consider other possible ways of achieving
them. Please think about the importance of future free front ends,


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