Why Clang

Mark Felder feld at feld.me
Mon Jun 18 16:44:28 UTC 2012

On Mon, 18 Jun 2012 11:37:55 -0500, Wojciech Puchar  
<wojtek at wojtek.tensor.gdynia.pl> wrote:

> This tens or hundreds of thousands of work-hours could be spent far  
> better by getting latest gcc available on GPLv2 licence and start from  
> there, just improving it.

We already have the latest available with GPLv2, which is very far behind  
and it requires GCC codebase experts to make any changes at all. This is  
equivalent to letting any random coder make major changes to OpenSSL --  
you simply cannot afford to risk it.

Yes, I noticed you showed a few benchmarks where Clang was slower. It's  
bound to be a bit slower with some test cases at first -- they're rounding  
out the features before going back for major optimizations. It won't be  
long and it will be sufficiently on par if not exceeding GCC's  
capabilities. Writing a compiler is no trivial task, and they've built the  
right framework and have a very active community.

Listen, Apple has a MAJOR investment in Clang/LLVM. They simply would not  
allow major across-the-board speed regressions to happen during the  
release of iOS or OSX. They're going to throw tons of time and money to  
make it destroy GCC and target any ARCH they have the slightest interest  
in. Clang has a very bright future, so don't be so discouraged.

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