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FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM A "Terrible Setback"

Anonymous Coward writes | about 6 months ago


An anonymous reader writes "Richard Stallman has called LLVM a terrible setback in a new mailing list exchange over GCC vs. Clang. LLVM continues to be widely used and grow in popularity for different uses, but its under a BSD-style license rather than the GPL. RMS wrote, "For GCC to be replaced by another technically superior compiler that defended freedom equally well would cause me some personal regret, but I would rejoice for the community's advance. The existence of LLVM is a terrible setback for our community precisely because it is not copylefted and can be used as the basis for nonfree compilers — so that all contribution to LLVM directly helps proprietary software as much as it helps us. ""
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For some... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46057963)

It's a terrible set back for Free Software for sure, but not for people who like to write software of any kind. LLVM can be used more like a component in other projects, free or non-free and both GCC and Clang have an audience. With LLVM, want to make your thing free, you can, want to close source to "make more money", you can. LLVM has a different freedom. For some this gives more choice and freedom to make a living or to give to the community. Competition is good too.

Butthurt that GCC is losing popularity ? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 6 months ago | (#46059163)

Choice for the consumer is good.

In an ideal world we would all have the source for every program so we can diagnose it.
In an ideal world we would only _need_ 1 compiler instead of everyone wasting man-years re-inventing yet another "wheel".

I deeply admire anyone who can remain committed to taking their ideology to an extreme by living it. However, such ideology is not appreciated, or understand by the majority. There are more "practical" and "pragmatic" sacrifices that sometimes must be made. Not everyone values Freedom the same way. :-( I'm sure Richard understands that some are willing to trade Freedom for Convenience. And his warning will probably be hauntingly true years down the road. Having someone who is able to look at the "bigger" picture must seem like a lonely, and unpopular job, but I am glad we have someone who does that.

However, taking a step back, what are _all_ the reasons that people are switching over to LLVM in the first place?

- Is part of the bigger picture is that GCC doesn't make it easy to embed into an IDE?
- If LLVM is "cleaner" under the hood so you don't need to be a compiler expert to modify / fix it, shouldn't that be a wake up call for GCC to clean up the code + architecture ?

What are the fundamental reasons (aside from licensing issues) that Apple switched from GCC to LLVM, and others?

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