EGCS Creation email

This e-mail was sent to announce the creation of EGCS project. Apart from having historical importance this e-mail also shows the correct usage of term "hackers" and "hacking" which primarily refers to the interest of individual(s) towards understanding how things work.

From: (D.V. Henkel-Wallace)

Subject: A new project to merge the existing GCC forks

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 16:31:29 -0700


A bunch of us (including Fortran, Linux, Intel and RTEMS hackers) have

decided to start a more experimental development project, just like

Cygnus and the FSF started the gcc2 project about 6 years ago. Only

this time the net community with which we are working is larger! We

are calling this project 'egcs' (pronounced 'eggs').

Why are we doing this? It's become increasingly clear in the course

of hacking events that the FSF's needs for gcc2 are at odds with the

objectives of many in the community who have done lots of hacking and

improvement over the years. GCC is part of the FSF's publicity for the

GNU project, as well as being the GNU system's compiler, so stability

is paramount for them. On the other hand, Cygnus, the Linux folks,

the pgcc folks, the Fortran folks and many others have done

development work which has not yet gone into the GCC2 tree despite

years of efforts to make it possible.

This situation has resulted in a lot of strong words on the gcc2

mailing list which really is a shame since at the heart we all want

the same thing: the continued success of gcc, the FSF, and Free

Software in general. Apart from ill will, this is leading to great

divergence which is increasingly making it harder for us all to work

together -- It is almost as if we each had a proprietary compiler!

Thus we are merging our efforts, building something that won't damage

the stability of gcc2, so that we can have the best of both worlds.

As you can see from the list below, we represent a diverse collection

of streams of GCC development. These forks are painful and waste

time; we are bringing our efforts together to simplify the development

of new features. We expect that the gcc2 and egcs communities will

continue to overlap to a great extent, since they're both working on

GCC and both working on Free Software. All code will continue to be

assigned to the FSF exactly as before and will be passed on to the

gcc2 maintainers for ultimate inclusion into the gcc2 tree.

Because the two projects have different objectives, there will be

different sets of maintainers. Provisionally we have agreed that Jim

Wilson is to act as the egcs maintainer and Jason Merrill as the

maintainer of the egcs C++ front end. Craig Burley will continue to

maintain the Fortran front end code in both efforts.

What new features will be coming up soon? There is such a backlog of

tested, un-merged-in features that we have been able to pick a useful

initial set:

New alias analysis support from John F. Carr.

g77 (with some performance patches).

A C++ repository for G++.

A new instruction scheduler from IBM Haifa.

A regmove pass (2-address machine optimizations that in future

will help with compilation for the x86 and for now

will help with some RISC machines).

This will use the development snapshot of 3 August 97 as its base --

in other words we're not starting from the 18 month old gcc-2.7

release, but from a recent development snapshot with all the last 18

months' improvements, including major work on G++.

We plan an initial release for the end of August. The second release

will include some subset of the following:

global cse and partial redundancy elimination.

live range splitting.

More features of IBM Haifa's instruction scheduling,

including software pipelining, and branch scheduling.

sibling call opts.

various new embedded targets.

Further work on regmove.

The egcs mailing list at will be used to discuss and

prioritize these features.

How to join: send mail to

That list is under majordomo.

We have a web page that describes the various mailing lists and has

this information at:

Alternatively, look for these releases as they spread through other

projects such as RTEMS, Linux, etc.

Come join us!

David Henkel-Wallace

(for the egcs members, who currently include, among others):

Per Bothner

Joe Buck

Craig Burley

John F. Carr

Stan Cox

David Edelsohn

Kaveh R. Ghazi

Richard Henderson

David Henkel-Wallace

Gordon Irlam

Jakub Jelinek

Kim Knuttila

Gavin Koch

Jeff Law

Marc Lehmann

H.J. Lu

Jason Merrill

Michael Meissner

David S. Miller

Toon Moene

Jason Molenda

Andreas Schwab

Joel Sherrill

Ian Lance Taylor

Jim Wilson

EGCS is a good example of how hackers have helped the programming community. If you thought hacker community only comprised of people who get into your accounts, delete files and steal money then you are watching too much movies.