30 Jan 2006 rmathew   » (Master)

ECJ for GCJ?
Tom proposed killing GCJX and replacing it with the Eclipse compiler for Java (Eclipse JDT Core plug-in, known informally as ECJ). He has been almost single-handedly working on GCJX for more than a year and it looks pretty good already, so it is pretty courageous of him to be the one to propose using something else instead of GCJX in the overall interests of GCJ.

ECJ seems pretty good and very actively maintained. It must be one of the fastest Java compilers around and fully supports the new language features introduced in JDK 1.5. So it is a very good move for GCJ.

Using ECJ does introduce GCC bootstrapping issues though. However, it should be possible to easily overcome these issues. The bigger issues are political and legal in nature. Let us hope these are resolved favourably.

I personally feel a little sad though. This removes another "fun" part of GCJ even though it is pragmatically a better thing to do, especially considering the precious little resources that the GCJ project has. I feel that GCJ is becoming more and more an "integration" project combining the best-of-breed in Free software for a given task - the Java language compiler would be ECJ, the garbage collector is Boehm-GC, the runtime library is GNU Classpath and the optmisation and code-generation is done by GCC. Of course, this can hardly be characterised as bad and is in fact quite a sensible thing to do given the limited amount of resources that the Free software world has at its disposal, but...

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