manu AT gcc DOT gnu DOT org

Manuel López-Ibáñez

5 things that GCC could do better as a community

  1. A simple/flexible click-through web-form for copyright assignment, following Google's example.1

  2. Attract more developers.

    • Problems: GCC could benefit a lot by attracting more contributors in general and specifically more part-time volunteer contributors.

    • Goals: GCC should have at least 2 active maintainers per module, this is not the case right now for critical parts like the C/C++ FEs, libcpp, diagnostics, most optimization passes, graphite, etc. GCC should maintain and expand the number of paid-contributors from organizations and corporations. GCC should attract contributors from the research community.2

  3. Upgrade all infrastructure around GCC.

    • Problems:

      • Outdated, unmaintained, understaffed infrastructure: wiki, bugzilla, SVN repository, HTML pages (+CVS repository), mailing lists software/archives. (Actually, this has improved a lot recently, but there are still some issues).
      • Missing infrastructure: project-wide build-bot/regression-tester/speed-memory-tester, patch tracker, ???.

      • Example of successful infrastructure: CompileFarm (but needs better marketing/exposure).

    • Goals: At least 2 maintainers of each infrastructure component. Get rid of outdated/obsolete infrastructure (e.g., get rid of CVS). Better marketing/exposure of existing infrastructure. Share infrastructure with other GNU projects (GDB, binutils, libc).

  4. Improve GCC documentation3

  5. Make GCC more useful and interesting to users




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  1. The whole thread Why not contribute? shows that this is a major problem. See also my reasons, Ian Lance Taylor agrees that the process is complex and confusing and also believes a web form would help. Linus Torvalds also thinks that the copyright assignment process is ''a big hurdle'' for contributors. (1)

  2. In my opinion, this is where GCC is further away from success because researchers have already moved to LLVM (2)

  3. The usual response is to look at the source but the sources are many times not well-documented, logically structured or easy to browse. (3)

  4. plugins help here but this is still generally more difficult in GCC than in other compilers (4)

None: ManuelLópezIbáñez (last edited 2015-11-14 20:57:02 by ManuelLopezIbanez)