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More Details From The EKOPath Open-Source Launch

Free Software

Published on 14 June 2011 03:54 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
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Yesterday we delivered the news that PathScale was open-sourcing their high-performance EKOPath compiler suite, which in previous days was talked about on Phoronix under the Dirndl codename when showing how fast this compiler was in relation to GCC. The community indeed is excited for EKOPath now being open-source (GPLv3) and in the Phoronix Forums are currently 15+ pages of comments. In this news posting are some more EKOPath details from the forums and some of what Christopher Bergström, PathScale's CTO, has relayed in our community portal.


- C++0x support will likely come to PathScale ENZO before it's introduced in the EKOPath compiler, due to different front-ends being used.

- EKOPath will hopefully be able to build the Qt tool-kit within the next month or so (there's one blocking bug at the moment).

- This EKOPath compiler just takes advantage of the CPU, not the GPU, like the PathScale ENZO product.

- One of our favorite comments by Bergström, "Binary size doesn't matter in reality as much as locality. C++ is going to see a lot of improvements this year. If we're not faster than g++ or other compilers file a bug report." (If only all Linux projects took performance this seriously...)

- Bergström's comments regarding Open64 vs. EKOPath relationship: "EKOPath is a 'fork' of SGI's Pro64 and never has imported code from Open64. Partial sources for EKOPath were previously available, but not all. Large portions of those sources were merged into Open64 as a result of previous PathScale management not supporting open source. Slowly the PathScale ship is changing direction and trying to build a real community of users/developers." Additionally, "1) We 'forked' pro64 like 8 year ago and import nothing from open64 2) Open64 imported heavily from PathScale tarballs that were released previously so in reality it's a fork from us! (Check their early commit logs to see what I mean) 3) More 'stuff' coming open source and will be available at our pathscale github account. Path64 won't get anymore sources directly added to it."

- Regarding whether some of the EKOPath performance optimizations could be ported to the GNU Compiler Collection: "Sure you can port optimizations, but not every ball of yarn is created equal. Compilers are generally speaking an extremely complicated piece of software and the effectiveness of optimizations can be dependent on many things. EKOPath has been engineered for performance and we're in a good position to stay ahead in areas we focus on."

- The Path64 GitHub source tree isn't the full source to EKOPath. All of the sources are still being opened up and should be pushed publicly within a few days.

- In terms of why PathDB (PathScale's debugger) was open-sourced: "Our goal for PathDB is/was to build an initial community of users inside the BSD community."

There's more comments by the PathScale and the Phoronix community in the forums.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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