There Are Renewed Discussions About Having Rust Language Support Within GCC

Written by Michael Larabel in Programming on 28 December 2019 at 04:49 PM EST. 17 Comments
Going back a number of years has been various out-of-tree front-ends for GCC toying with the ability to compile Rust code with GCC while a new discussion has started up about the prospects of theoretically mainlining one of those efforts or otherwise developing a new GCC Rust front-end.

Redbrain's GCCRS continues to be developed as one of those independent Rust front-ends to GCC. We've covered that front-end going back to 2013 and it's seen commits as recently as earlier this month.

One of the others has been Sapir's gcc-rust as a very primitive Rust front-end capable of just compiling trivial functions at this stage.

Debian developer John Paul Adrian Glaubitz has started a discussion on the GCC mailing list about the prospects of an official Rust front-end living within GCC, similar to Google's Go front-end support in GCC. Among other benefits, a Rust front-end in GCC would allow for an independent implementation of Rustlang, support for the various CPU architectures supported by GCC but not by LLVM, and for those preferring the GNU stack to the de facto LLVM rustc.

The discussion can be found on gcc-patches and so far it's at an early stage and mostly talking about the prospects of having such a front-end. There is talk of potentially using BountySource for crowd-funding the development of this front-end and at this stage none of the out-of-tree GCC Rust front-ends have assigned their copyright to the FSF, which would be needed in order for those front-ends to get merged into the GNU Compiler Collection. Nevertheless, GCC-Rust talk could get interesting as we move into 2020.
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