GCC 4.0

Been playing with the CVS version of GCC (which will become GCC 4.0 – note to self, update the libgcj portion with all the GNU Classpath updates that have gone in) and the result is stunning! Tom Tromey had shown how to create a pre-compiled version of Eclipse 3.0. It is really easy now to pre-compile anything (the pain is compiling RHUG first, but the work on GNU JAXP will make this a lot easier.)

I have been using gcj precompiled Eclipse with kaffe as JRE to see how easy it would be to mix and match running with a native gcj Eclipse version and using some other runtime as execution engine for the created programs. That works just fine. (There is also a gcjbuilder Eclipse plugin that integrates the native GCJ compiler within Eclipse build infrastructure.) I had never been very impressed by Eclipse since I had only ran it with interpreters till now and then it feels a bit sluggish. But this thing is fast! Startup is under 10 seconds (even with multiple projects open). Importing GNU Classpath (and building it all) just takes seconds. Editing feels smooth and autocompletion works instantly.

Now that some of the other runtimes have also been able to work with this large program it will be fun to see how quickly we can shake out all the bugs. Then we must follow the lead of the Debian hackers and build the whole thing from source!