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Digital Mars Is Wanting To Merge D Into GCC

Compiler

Published on 09 November 2010 10:34 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler
4 Comments

Walter Bright of Digital Mars has brought up with the GCC list what steps need to be traveled so that GDC, the GNU D Compiler, can be merged into GCC. Right now the GNU Compiler Collection doesn't have support for the D programming language, but that may soon change if this merge by Digital Mars is successful.

In response to the mailing list message, it is the Free Software Foundation Steering Committee that needs to give the thumbs-up for this process to commence once Digital Mars is okay with the FSF copyright assignment and licensing policies.

The D programming language was conceived by Walter Bright himself at Digital Mars more than a decade ago and is slowly beginning to gain some traction. The design of the D programming language is largely influenced by C++. It was just recently with Fedora 14 that Red Hat pushed in a D compiler, but rather than using GDC, they used LDC. LDC is the LLVM D Compiler. The LLVM D Compiler targets version 1.0 of the D language (there's two versions) and is based upon the DMD front-end, but of course with the LLVM back-end, just as Clang is to C/C++ with LLVM. There's also Digital Mars' multi-platform DMD compiler for Windows / Linux / Mac OS X / BSD and a D.NET compiler too.

Pushing D language support into GCC via GDC will increase the language's presence and provide an alternative to those that may not want to use the LLVM-based D compiler. [It will also allow us to run more benchmarks in the future like we did for C/C++ with GCC vs. LLVM Clang, DragonEgg, LLVM-GCC performance, but for this alternative language.] Merging this D support is too late for GCC 4.6, so it would make it a GCC 4.7 target if everything pans out with the Free Software Foundation and Digital Mars. It was also just recently that Google's Go got the go-ahead to be pushed into GCC.

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