11.07.13

GNU Compiler Collection Approaching Version 5

Posted in GNU/Linux at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman

Summary: The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) helps show us just how much of an impact GNU has had not just on the development community but also society as a whole

If it weren’t for GCC, Linux would need proprietary compilers to be executable. Always remember that when the Linux Foundation downplays GNU. GCC 4.9 is just months away [1], challenged only by projects like LLVM (the BSD-leaning camp). It is not yet clear when version 5 of GCC will be out, but it is not far over the horizon and it promises plenty of freedom-respecting conversions from human-readable code to machine-readable code. Without GCC, the likes of the NSA would find it easier to put back doors in software as part of the compilation process (we already have evidence showing that the NSA infiltrated and subverted standards for this purpose). GCC is an enormously important project, perhaps more than Linux (depending to whom). I first used GCC when I was 18 (it used to be known as the GNU C Compiler), having used Pascal for the most part before that (it was a common teaching tool at the time). GCC has since then become the Swiss army knife of millions of developers (the same goes for projects like GNU Awk [3]) all around the world and companies like Intel just had to pour code into it, trying to stay relevant in the hardware market.

Imagine a world without GCC. Or never mind; such a world never came to exist, so we cannot truly imagine it. With microcode and firmware we can easily see that those in power are determined to abuse it, but it’s software freedom that keeps standing in their way.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. GCC 4.9 Will Make Compilers More Exciting In 2014

    GCC 4.9 will likely not be released until later in H1’2014, but already a lot of compiler changes have been queued up to make this next major release of the GNU Compiler Collection exciting for developers and also benefiting users of the generated binaries.

  2. Features Coming For The LLVM 3.4 Compiler Stack

    Having yesterday covered the features so far of GCC 4.9, here’s a look at the features baking for LLVM 3.4 — the next major compiler infrastructure update due out likely around the end of the year.

  3. GNU Awk 4.1: Teaching an Old Bird Some New Tricks, Part II
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2 Comments

  1. salparadise said,

    November 8, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Gravatar

    Sad to say, but I suspect that “open source” will become increasingly irrelevant. Backdoors will be in the hardware, undetectable by the User or the OS. OpenSource has become too well known now and it has been realised that to appear to embrace it is to offset suspicions of underhandedness. This is why companies that are engaged in providing the means to surveil the population are now appearing to embrace opensource. This is more inline with MS’s old ‘extend, embrace and enxtinguish’ philosophy than it is anything to do with “getting why people hate being spied on”.
    This is one of those times when I hope I’m totally wrong.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The US secret services are starting to fear back doors in China-made hardware, so we know it’s not just a theoretical threat.

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