Java News from Friday, April 22, 2005

I don't normally solicit donations for this web site. When people offer them, I normally request that they send something to Doctors Without Borders instead. I've also gotten a few GMail invites, but I prefer to store my mail locally, thanks. However, there's a recent offer that's too tempting to pass up. If anyone is planning to buy SubEthaEdit in the next week or so, I'd love the free extra serial number they're offering with each purchase for "a fellow carbon based life form." Thanks. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

The Gnu Project has released version 4.0.0 of GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection. GCC contains frontends for C, C++, Objective C, Chill, Fortran, Ada, and Java as well as libraries for these languages. GCC's Java is a clean room implementation that doesn't use any Sun code, so it doesn't always exactly match Sun release versions, but this is roughly at the Java 1.4 level with some omissions. Verson 4.0 brings

a completely new optimization framework based on a higher level intermediate representation than the existing RTL representation. Numerous new code transformations based on the new framework are available in GCC 4.0, including:

I'll be curious to see if this brings gcc performance back up to the level of the closed source compilers. Java Specific changes in 4.0 include:

Other notable improvements include support for Fortran 90 and Fortran 95.

I tried to build this on my Mac box to test gcj, but it died during make with the message "./config.status: line 910: ./../../ No such file or directory". I'll probably just wait till Tiger comes out at the end of the month, which ships gcc-4.0 by default.