GNU C compiler beta test release

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Mar 22, 1987, 10:46:43 PM3/22/87
This message has 3 parts:
- rms' announcement of the GNU cc beta test release.
- a summary of gcc.
- where to send bug reports.

General questions about GNU can be sent to:

enjoy, -len
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 87 10:56:56 EST
From: rms (Richard M. Stallman)

The GNU C compiler is now available for ftp from the file
/u2/emacs/gcc.tar on This includes machine
descriptions for vax and sun, 60 pages of documentation on writing
machine descriptions (internals.texinfo, internals.dvi and Info
file internals).

This also contains the ANSI standard (Nov 86) C preprocessor and 30
pages of reference manual for it.

This compiler compiles itself correctly on the 68020 and did so
recently on the vax. It recently compiled Emacs correctly on the
68020, and has also compiled tex-in-C and Kyoto Common Lisp.
However, it probably still has numerous bugs that I hope you will
find for me.

I will be away for a month, so bugs reported now will not be
handled until then.

If you can't ftp, you can order a compiler beta-test tape from the
Free Software Foundation for $150 (plus 5% sales tax in
Massachusetts, or plus $15 overseas if you want air mail).

Free Software Foundation
1000 Mass Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

[tapes are generally in Unix tar format. If you have other needs,
write to the above address, and ask if they can be met. -len]
GNU CC is a fairly portable optimizing C compiler intended for
machines with 32-bit words that have several registers and address
memory in terms of 8-bit bytes. It supports full ANSI standard C, not
including libraries (which we do not consider to be part of a
Currently we have working machine descriptions for the Vax and for
the 68000/68020 (including 68881 support).
Optimizations performed by GNU CC include:
* Invariant code motion out of loops.
* Common subexpression elimination.
* Automatic register packing (register declarations are unnecessary
and ignored).
* Constant propagation and elimination of consequent dead code.
* Copy propagation.
* Elimination of dead stores.
* Jump optimization including cross-jumping.
* Delaying of stack adjustments after function calls.
* Arithmetic performed in subword types when appropriate.
* Many local optimizations.
GNU CC runs about as fast as PCC.
Most of the optimizations are machine-independent or controlled by a
machine description. GNU CC takes advantage of all the 68020
addressing modes that we can see how to make the Sun assembler
assemble. Debugging output for DBX is available whether you request
optimization or not.

GNU CC is free software, like the original Emacs. What we charge
for is the service of tape distribution: $150 for 1600bpi industry
standard mag tape, or $175 for Sun cartridge tape. Outside North
America, add $15 per tape for air mail shipment. Inside
Massachusetts, add 5% for sales tax.
We do not yet have our own free C manual, but the C standard or
(less well) any book on C will serve.
No service is promised, but we are strongly interested in fixing any
bugs; please, please report them. Now that the compiler is being
tested, we can begin compiling a Service Directory listing individuals
and companies who offer service for GNU CC at various rates.
There is a mailing list for gcc bug reports:

If you are seriously debugging the GNU C Compiler, you can join the
list by asking address:

Future releases of and progress reports on the Compiler will be
announced in the usual places, not on bug-gcc.

General questions about GNU can be referred to:
Len Tower, Project GNU of the Free Software Foundation
1000 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA +1 (617) 876-3296
HOME: 36 Porter Street, Somerville, MA 02143, USA +1 (617) 623-7739
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