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Re: History of GCC

On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 9:35 AM, Will Hawkins <> wrote:
> Can any of you recall a turning point where development went from
> being driven by hobbyists to being driven by career developers? As a
> result of that shift, has there been a change in the project's
> priorities? Have there been conflicts between the employer's interests
> and those of the project (in terms of project goals, licensing issues,
> code quality, etc)?

Development changed to being driven by professional programmers as
Cygnus Support started hiring more and more GCC developers.

I wouldn't say that that caused a significant shift in the project's
priorities.  Cygnus had a clear interest in supporting an increasing
number of microprocessors, and in particular improving the support of
RISC processors.  But those were always project priorities anyhow.

I don't think that employer interests have led to any significant
conflicts between employer interests and project interests.  It's sort
of hard to say, though, because in effect employer interests have
become project interests.  I would say that there have been some
conflicts between GCC project interests and FSF interests, as when GCC
wanted to develop techniques like LTO and plugins that required
licensing adjustments like the GCC Runtime Library Exception.  I
believe those have been resolved, but it took a while.

That said, from a certain perspective it would be reasonable to call
the EGCS split a conflict between employer interests and project
interests.  Although many people supported the EGCS split, it was
driven initially by Cygnus.


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