Get Ready for GCC 3.0!

As we all know, Open Source products don't have rigid deadlines.

However, the tentative release of the new GCC 3.0 compiler scheduled

for June 15th is a significant leap in terms of compiler technology,

language support, portability, and performance. This week, I will

present the novelties and enhancements of the imminent GCC 3.0 compiler.

GCC 3.0 New Features

While GCC supports several languages, including Fortran, Objective C,

and Java, its first and foremost usage is as a C/C++ compiler. In this

regard, the development team has invested a great deal of work

designing, implementing, testing, and bug fixing. The new version will

support the C++ Standard Library properly. Up until now, essential

components of the Standard Library were missing, such as the

and libraries, while other components of the C++ Standard Library have been supported only partially. This is going to change soon, as GCC 3.0 includes a brand new implementation of the Standard Library. Another major change is a new Abstract Binary Interface (ABI). For this reason, no binary compatibility exists between GCC 3.0 and older versions of compiled code. However, unlike previous releases, the ABI is stable and expects to remain unchanged in the following releases. In terms of core-language features, the 3.0 release fixes some minor bugs and includes a newly written preprocessor. Tighter support of C99 is also expected, although the new release doesn't fully support the new C standard yet. Regarding compilation technology, GCC 3.0 is expected to compile code faster; some tests showed it 40% faster than its predecessor. Compiling large amounts of code and applications that make extensive use of templates make this improvement much more noticeable -- an area that has been pretty neglected thus far. Additional changes you'll find in GCC 3.0 include: * GCC 3.0 will offer better Java support. Unlike previous releases, the Java standard library should be included in the new release. Thus, users won't have to download it separately; * Apparently, GCC 3.0 will not support the Chill language anymore due to a lack of interest (and volunteers); * The creators of GCC 3.0 ensure that the generated code's quality is at least as good as its predecessor. In fact, it seems that the new release will be better in this regard. For more information on GCC 3.0, visit the official GCC Web site at http://gcc.gnu.org.
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