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developerWorks: David Mosberger Ponders the Future of Linux on IA-64

Sep 30, 2002, 09:00 (0 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to SamIam for this link. ]

"dW: Do you think that the proprietary compilers will always have an advantage on this platform, or do you think that GCC will ever catch up?

"Mosberger: I don't know whether it's going to be GCC, but I certainly hope and expect that there will be a competitive free compiler. It's hard to imagine that the free compiler would leapfrog the proprietary compilers by a big margin, but I think it probably could get within a few percent, if somebody really wanted to do that. I don't know if you've heard of the ORC [Open Research Compiler]; it's basically what used to be the SGI compiler for MIPS and Itanium. They open-sourced it, and it definitely has an Itanium back end. I don't know if it has a MIPS back end. And now Intel has a joint project with a Chinese university to really make that a state-of-the-art compiler. Right now, I think it's probably the worst compiler of all, because it doesn't work very reliably. But the good thing there is that the infrastructure is right, which is an advantage compared to GCC, whose infrastructure is still oriented toward very old CISC designs. So I think there will be some competition there..."

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