[gclist] Re: Linux and commercial compilers

Malcolm Cohen malcolm@nag.co.uk
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 17:30:55 +0000 (GMT)

Brian Hurt said:
> > 2: Why are there no commercial conservative garbage collectos for Linux? 
> >
> Probably for the same reason there are no commercial compilers for Linux-

There are commercial compilers for Linux:
  (1) NAG sell a Fortran 90 compiler for both Intel and Alpha Linux, this uses
      gcc as a backend (i.e. it goes via C) so the performance is not all that
      good on Alpha.
  (2) I believe I have heard that Absoft (?) have a Fortran compiler (I don't
      recall whether it was 77 or 90 though) for Alpha Linux; this might be
      in beta-test still though.

> it's not easy to create a better product than the freely available one,

Well you may be right for C compilers, though I note that the DEC C
compiler (only available on Digital Unix) is enormously better than gcc on
Alpha so it cannot be the difficulty of producing a good product that is
stopping them.  I am not all that impressed with the code generated by gcc
on Intel boxes either, though it looks like the free software folk are
sorting that one out.

Anyway, to get back to gc: NAGWare Fortran comes with the Boehm et al
collector.  This seems to satisfy most of that subset of the Fortran
community that want gc; only the lack of performance when large (10MB+?)
objects are being allocated seems to be a real problem (it seems to go
into an infinite loop allocating memory from the O/S - at a guess, trying
to find a spot that is not black-listed, though I could be wrong about that;
has anyone else had more success here?  is it a Linux problem?).

...........................Malcolm Cohen, NAG Ltd., Oxford, U.K.