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GNU is Not Unix Programming

New LLVM Debugger Subproject Already Faster Than GDB 174

kthreadd writes "The LLVM project is now working on a debugger called LLDB that's already faster than GDB and could be a possible alternative in the future for C, C++, and Objective-C developers. With the ongoing success of Clang and other LLVM subprojects, are the days of GNU as the mainstream free and open development toolchain passé?" LLVM stands for Low Level Virtual Machine; Wikipedia as usual has a good explanation of the parent project.
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New LLVM Debugger Subproject Already Faster Than GDB

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  • Re:Success? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mmkkbb ( 816035 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:46PM (#32527072) Homepage Journal

    LLVM interoperates with GCC already. From the WIkipedia entry: "LLVM was originally written to be a more aggressive, higher performance system for the existing GCC stack,[3] and many of the GCC front-ends have been modified to work with it. LLVM currently supports the compilation of C, C++, Fortran, Objective-C, Ada, D, using front-ends derived from version 4.0.1 and 4.2 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)."

  • Nice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jorl17 ( 1716772 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:47PM (#32527098)
    I like LLVM, but I love TenDRA [].
  • Re:Depends... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:21PM (#32527556)
    Actually I suspect the major factor in the slower GCC development was RMS's reluctance in allowing C++ code in the tree. As for Apple, they may use LLVM, but guess which compiler they use in Xcode...
  • Re:Depends... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:26PM (#32527642)
    Apple has basically refused to touch anything licensed as GPLv3. For instance, the newest version of GCC they ship is 4.2.1, which was the last version released as GPLv2. They did start investing in LLVM before the GPLv3 was published (not sure if they started before the first draft was released), but the license change pretty much forced the switch.
  • Re:Depends... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by joe_bruin ( 266648 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:50PM (#32528044) Homepage Journal

    if they achieve +10% of avg. performance against gcc (not gdb!) on AMD64 and/or ARM platform, everyone will start using it pretty soon. Until then it cannot replace gcc. Unless compiler is in some way seriously broken, its only important characteristic is performance of generated code.

    Intel's ICC compiler produces code that is more than 10% faster for x86/x86_64 than GCC (last I checked). ARM's RVCT compiler produces code that is 30% faster than GCC (today)! Why is anyone still using GCC then? Money, MY FREEDOM, and compatibility with gcc-only code are the leading candidates. Interestingly, LLVM solves all three of those issues for most people, plus it has the performance advantage.

  • Re:Depends... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:58PM (#32528934)

    ARM's RVCT compiler produces code that is 30% faster than GCC (today)!

    Since ARM forbids publishing any kind of performance or code size comparisons between RVCT and other compilers, I'm wondering where you got that number.

  • by Gary W. Longsine ( 124661 ) on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:13AM (#32531722) Homepage Journal

    "In that sense its a proprietary apple project for which they've opened up the parts that they think won't give anyone else a competitive advantage against them. "

    Free. Not encumbered in any way. No bullshit pseudo libertarian crap about distinctions between free beer and speech. The entire LLVM project is completely bloody f'ing free . It's a damn sight more free than the almost but not quite really free gcc.

    LLVM is an entirely free and open source code to a complete compiler, several front ends, several back ends, optimization code. Better than that, it's all implemented as libraries you can easily compile in and link with your code. And a standardized Intermediate Representation. And today they added a free debugger under the same entirely free and entirely open terms. For free.

    Go troll elsewhere, GPL freak.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington