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

[ 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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