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Re: Reconsidering gcjx
- From: Mark Mitchell <mark at codesourcery dot com>
- To: tromey at redhat dot com
- Cc: GCJ Hackers <java at gcc dot gnu dot org>, GCC Mailing List <gcc at gcc dot gnu dot org>
- Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 15:44:45 -0800
- Subject: Re: Reconsidering gcjx
- References: <email@example.com>
Tom Tromey wrote:
> Now that the GPL v3 looks as though it may be EPL-compatible, the time
> has come to reconsider using the Eclipse java compiler ("ecj") as our
> primary gcj front end. This has both political and technical
> ramifications, I discuss them below.
First, I'd like to commend and thank you just for brining this issue up.
It takes a lot of courage to look at your own hard work and consider
tossing it out.
My personal feeling is that using ecj would be an excellent approach.
I'm not qualified to talk about all the particular technical issues, but
I think that focusing free software developers on a single Java front
end is an excellent idea, and since you believe ecj is an actively
maintained high-quality complier, that seems fine.
As others have said, the bootstrapping issues are much more minor than
GNAT, since there are free java runtimes that can run ecj; the severity
of the "you must have version X of <lang> to build version Y" is rather
The FSF's web site lists the EPL as a GPL-incompatible free software
license, but I don't think that's an issue. We could argue about
whether or not invoking ecj from the driver, before feeding the class
file to gcj, somehow constitutes a combination under GPLv2, but I think
that's relatively pointless. I think the general consensus is that
nobody knows for sure (lack of case law), but that most people assume
the GPL applies to programs linked together, and we certainly don't
assume a GPL problem because GCC on Solaris invokes the Solaris assembler!
Of course, we should definitely get the SC's buy in before making such a
change of this magnitude.
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