Clang - what is the story?

Chad Perrin perrin at
Sun Jan 22 19:52:17 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 01:13:49AM +1000, Da Rock wrote:
> On 01/23/12 00:38, Robert Bonomi wrote:
> >Da Rock<freebsd-questions at>  wrote:
> >
> >>I personally had no idea this was going on; my impression was gcc grew
> >>out of the original compiler that built unix, and the only choices were
> >>borland and gcc. The former for win32 crap and the latter for, well,
> >>everything else.
> >"Once upon a time", there were _many_ alternatives for C compilers.
> >Commercial -- i.e. 'you pay for it', or bundled with a pay O/S  -- offerings
> >included (this is a _partial_ list, ones _I_ have personal knowledge of):
> >
> >   PCC  -- (the original one0 medium-lousy code but the code-generator was
> >            easily adapted to new/diferent hardwre
> >   Green Hills Softwaware  (used by a number of unix hardare manufacturers)
> >   Sun Microsystems developed their own ("acc")
> >   Silicon Graphics, Inc
> >   Hewlett-Packard
> >   Symantic   (Think C -- notable for high-performance on early Apple Mac's,
> >	      significantly better than Apple's own MPW)
> >   Manx Software   ("Aztec C" -- a 'best of breed' for MS-DOS)
> >   Microsoft
> >   Intel
> >   CCS
> >   Watcom
> >   Borland
> >   Zortech
> >   Greenleaf Software
> >   Ellis Computing (specializing in 'budget' compilers, circa $30 pricetags)
> >   "Small C"
> >   tcc -- the 'tiny C compiler
> Wow... I have some research to do...

Maybe not.  It depends on what you want to learn.

PCC was already mentioned.  Watcom C's license is overly complex and
probably legally problematic.  Small-C Compiler is a compiler for the
Small-C language, which is only a subset of C.  The Tiny C Compiler is
copyleft licensed, so not as ideal a choice as Clang, PCC, and TenDRA
have been at various points in time when choosing a new C compiler for a
BSD Unix base system.  If I'm not mistaken, everything else on that list
is not even open source software.

If you just want to know about C compilers, it's fun to read about all
this stuff.  If you specifically want to know about options that might be
suitable for use as GCC-replacement in BSD Unix systems, there's far less
to read.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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