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digitalmars.D - DMD and GDC: Worth developing two compilers?

reply Bruno Medeiros <daiphoenixNO SPAMlycos.com> writes:
Here's something I've been wondering for some time now. Currently we 
have two compilers in development, DMD and GDC, and altough GDC's 
development is mostly porting back changes from newer DMD versions, 
wouldn't it be better, given how precious the time resource is, to have 
have just one line of development? That line being GDC, since it can't 
go away: it has some caracteristics that are essential for adoption of a 
new technology like D (it's source is fully GPL'ed, and it's more 
portable/available). It also has some other advantages like better (or 
"betterly" available) tool support and integraton with gcc (the C 
compiler, not the compiler colection). I'm on Windows and nevertheless 
I'm considering start using GDC for just these later reasons.
And so, wouldn't it be better for Walter to shift his development to GDC?
* Is the backporting overhead not that significant ? (I doubt it, even 
these small things make a big difference)
* Or is there any technical issue in doing so?
* Or any non technical issue (like commercial interests)?

I'd like to hear Walter's opinion on this, (or some relevant previous 
discussion if this has been brough up before).

-- 
Bruno Medeiros - CS/E student
"Certain aspects of D are a pathway to many abilities some consider to 
be... unnatural."
Nov 28 2005
parent reply "Walter Bright" <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
"Bruno Medeiros" <daiphoenixNO SPAMlycos.com> wrote in message
news:dmes6a$237q$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 I'd like to hear Walter's opinion on this, (or some relevant previous
 discussion if this has been brough up before).

One important consideration for me is avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. I am in the compiler business, and one thing lawyers worry about is 'tainting'. Being able to truthfully say "I've never looked at the source to gcc" is an easy way to make the lawyers happy. If I go so far as to actually do development work on gcc, and also develop (closed source) DMC++, that puts me in a position that's vulnerable to accusations of copying. We in the D community are very lucky that David Friedman is donating his time and effort to developing GDC. I for one am grateful to him for this necessary and valuable contribution. Having two different compilers for D also makes D more substantial and less risky for organizations to bet their next project on.
Nov 28 2005
next sibling parent reply Bruno Medeiros <daiphoenixNO SPAMlycos.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 "Bruno Medeiros" <daiphoenixNO SPAMlycos.com> wrote in message
 news:dmes6a$237q$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 
I'd like to hear Walter's opinion on this, (or some relevant previous
discussion if this has been brough up before).

One important consideration for me is avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. I am in the compiler business, and one thing lawyers worry about is 'tainting'. Being able to truthfully say "I've never looked at the source to gcc" is an easy way to make the lawyers happy. If I go so far as to actually do development work on gcc, and also develop (closed source) DMC++, that puts me in a position that's vulnerable to accusations of copying.

 We in the D community are very lucky that David Friedman is donating his
 time and effort to developing GDC. I for one am grateful to him for this
 necessary and valuable contribution.
 

 Having two different compilers for D also makes D more substantial and less
 risky for organizations to bet their next project on.
 

-- Bruno Medeiros - CS/E student "Certain aspects of D are a pathway to many abilities some consider to be... unnatural."
Nov 29 2005
parent reply BCS <BCS_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <dmidp9$2540$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Bruno Medeiros says...
Walter Bright wrote:

..
 Having two different compilers for D also makes D more substantial and less
 risky for organizations to bet their next project on.
 


What if (God forbid) Walter got hit by a car? DMD would more or less cease to exist. With GDC out there this wouldn't kill D.
Nov 29 2005
next sibling parent reply Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
BCS wrote:
 What if (God forbid) Walter got hit by a car? DMD would more or less
 cease to exist. With GDC out there this wouldn't kill D.

Walter, please, look both ways!
Nov 29 2005
parent reply Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 BCS wrote:
 What if (God forbid) Walter got hit by a car? DMD would more or less
 cease to exist. With GDC out there this wouldn't kill D.

Walter, please, look both ways!

I think Walter probably knows better than to stand in front of the dragsters ;-) Sean
Nov 29 2005
parent "Walter Bright" <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
"Sean Kelly" <sean f4.ca> wrote in message
news:dmiquq$2fo1$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 Georg Wrede wrote:
 BCS wrote:
 What if (God forbid) Walter got hit by a car? DMD would more or less
 cease to exist. With GDC out there this wouldn't kill D.

Walter, please, look both ways!

I think Walter probably knows better than to stand in front of the dragsters ;-)

Standing directly behind them is pretty ****ing dangerous. I once saw a top fuel dragster light up in reverse when the christmas tree hit green. He launched about 60 feet backwards before he was able to cut the engine, and it flew another 30 feet back. Since a lot of people hang around in back, it's a miracle nobody was hit.
Nov 29 2005
prev sibling parent reply Bruno Medeiros <daiphoenixNO SPAMlycos.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 In article <dmidp9$2540$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Bruno Medeiros says...
 
Walter Bright wrote:

...
Having two different compilers for D also makes D more substantial and less
risky for organizations to bet their next project on.

Hum..? I'm not so clear on this one. Why is it so?

What if (God forbid) Walter got hit by a car? DMD would more or less cease to exist. With GDC out there this wouldn't kill D.

Wouldn't it? Don't forget that GDC isn't really a whole separate compiler, it's just a gcc port of dmd. In any case, that point is only valid when you state that the number of developers is what makes a project more/less risky. If you have twice the number of aplications (like 2 compilers instead of one) but number of developers is still the same, it's not really less risky in that way. I would say that what Sean Kelly said on the other post is what makes sense for my question, altough DMD is also completely free (as in beer). (does it still count as corporate backing?) -- Bruno Medeiros - CS/E student "Certain aspects of D are a pathway to many abilities some consider to be... unnatural."
Nov 30 2005
parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Bruno Medeiros wrote:
 
 I would say that what Sean Kelly said on the other post is what makes 
 sense for my question, altough DMD is also completely free (as in beer). 
 (does it still count as corporate backing?)

DMD is a DigitalMars product, free or no. That it carries a blanket disclaimer exempting Walter from liability shouldn't bother legal too much--it's more about having a single 'official' point of contact. Sean
Nov 30 2005
prev sibling parent reply Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 "Bruno Medeiros" <daiphoenixNO SPAMlycos.com> wrote in message 
 news:dmes6a$237q$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 
 I'd like to hear Walter's opinion on this, (or some relevant
 previous discussion if this has been brough up before).

One important consideration for me is avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. I am in the compiler business, and one thing lawyers worry about is 'tainting'. Being able to truthfully say "I've never looked at the source to gcc" is an easy way to make the lawyers happy. If I go so far as to actually do development work on gcc, and also develop (closed source) DMC++, that puts me in a position that's vulnerable to accusations of copying.

Judging from the attitudes of some people I've evangelized D to, there is no way for us to not appreciate that single point enough.
 We in the D community are very lucky that David Friedman is donating
 his time and effort to developing GDC. I for one am grateful to him
 for this necessary and valuable contribution.

Yes, it's just amazing how good and valuable David's contribution is -- (Hmm, should I say "us", "the community", "programmers", "D"?) to all.
 Having two different compilers for D also makes D more substantial
 and less risky for organizations to bet their next project on.

Some of the communities I've talked with, have had it as a show-stopper point if there isn't at least 2 separate sources for a compiler for a new language. ! And at least one of them being _totally_ Open Source.
Nov 29 2005
parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 
 Having two different compilers for D also makes D more substantial
 and less risky for organizations to bet their next project on.

Some of the communities I've talked with, have had it as a show-stopper point if there isn't at least 2 separate sources for a compiler for a new language. ! And at least one of them being _totally_ Open Source.

In my experience, software development companies tend to prefer corporate backing for software products because it makes obtaining support, tracking product updates, and legal buck-passing much simpler to achieve. I have a decent bit of leeway on Solaris where we manage all portions of the build process (and where open-source code is much more common), but asking the Windows build team to install an open source compiler would give them apoplexy. Simply put, I'm very glad for the existence of both compilers. :-) Sean
Nov 29 2005