Maintaining compiler front-ends (Re: The state of Ada)

John Merryweather Cooper john_m_cooper at
Fri Jan 8 19:53:17 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----

From: Mikhail T. <mi+thun at>
To: John Merryweather Cooper <john_m_cooper at>
Cc: ports at; karel at; eischen at; mm at; joerg at
Sent: Fri, January 8, 2010 11:37:37 AM
Subject: Maintaining compiler front-ends (Re: The state of Ada)

01/08/10 13:10, John Merryweather Cooper написав(ла):
> Well, the [Ada -mi] compiler needs to be upgraded to the latest version.  Linux gets a compiler out of the box, but we have to bend one to shape.
I remain convinced, that the "bending into shape" ought to begin with making the additional GNU compiler front-ends (be they Ada, or Lisp, Java, Fortran, Pascal, Objective C, etc.) addable to an already existing C-compiler. I find it crazy, that every such front end currently downloads and builds its own gcc-core-SOMEVERSION, instead of using the base gcc or DEPEND-ing on lang/gccSOMEVERSION.

Yes, I am well aware, that this is, how GNU people do things. No, I don't think, there is nothing FreeBSD can do about it... Starting with making all such compilers use common binutils. (Perhaps, these can even be provided by the base -- NetBSD does just that, for example...)

Once done, ports of front-ends will no longer have to each deal with the back-end making the maintainership easier and thus giving us better ports...


Common binutils would help alot.  In general, it would also be excellent to return to a schema where languages are considered plugins to GCC.  The savings in disk space, build trouble, and compiler porting could be substantial.


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