Two interesting things happened this week
- the "R" programming language was talked about in the mainstream press.
- I discovered that the openbsd folks are working on using a non-gcc C
compiler (pcc). Turns out in the non-linux unix world there is not so
much love for gcc.
This makes some sense. gcc is huge and hard to work with. When it
compiles it uses every available resource and eats the machine. It's
not that easy to port or maintain. And it keeps getting bigger.
"pcc" on the other hand is 5-10 times faster, generates reasonable code
and is easy to port and work on. Someone is actually maintaining it.
This is the same pcc some will remember from Bell Labs in the '70s, back
when all the world was a pdp-11 (just before all the world became a
And, as eco systems go, it's good to have more than one option. Linux
is competely dependant on gcc. Netbsd on the other hand, is not.
(I've been working on getting netbsd to run on a my vax 11/730 again,
so I've fallen back in love with netbsd. Well, I think we're more like
friends with benefits, but please don't tell linux I've been cheating.)
anyway, I thought that was interesting. Apparently the pcc maintainer is
planning to add PIC support to pcc this winter which is one of the
missing features needed.