Thursday, June 27, 2002

http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~nr/pubs/c--gc-abstract.html Hi,

On Wed, 21 Feb 2001, Fergus Henderson wrote:

> > If it is possible to compile languages such as C into Java byte codes,
> > I see a great danger. The danger is that people will use Java byte
> > codes to hook GCC up to proprietary back ends and proprietary front
> > ends.
>
> People can already hook GCC up to proprietry front ends by simply
> having their front end generate C code. There are certainly a number

I think the fear of RMS is more, that people could write a new _backend_
for their hardware, do not publish it, but still use all the nice
frontends of GCC. With an intermediate language they could do this
legally, cause they don't have to link to GCC, but only write a reader for
that IL. This backend, because propritary and targeted to one hardware
could probably generate better code, than GCC in general, so it might be
successfull, although it "steals" all the hard work put in our frontends.
Without a feasible IL which GCC can generate this becomes legally
impossible. Now for this case, I don't know, if Java BC is a feasible IL
(meaning all languages can be compiled without loss of semantic and
information into JBC. Without loss of semantic can work of course, after
all that's the point of compiling. But without loss of information might
be impossible. That goal would be needed to generate efficient code
(think e.g.2

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