On Wed, Sep 07, 2016 at 08:10:50AM +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
GCJ, the GNU Compiler for Java, has been languishing
for some time, and
may be about to be put out of its misery.
Unlike the Sun/Oracle compiler, GCJ can compile to native machine code
(thanks to the common GCC infrastructure), it is not restricted to some
intermediate byte code. It originated before Sun open-sourced Java, and
I guess a lot of the need for it went away when OpenJDK appeared.
Interesting. Debian used gcj to bootstrap openjdk-7 as openjdk depends
on having a java compiler to compile itself. As gcj is buildable with
gcc/g++ alone (I think, or does it need gcj as well, looks like it does
need gcj to build itself) it provided a nice way to bootstrap full java
support. It looks to me that Debian bootstrap openjdk-8 with either
openjdk-7 or openjdk-8 so it would appear they have given up using gcj
as the base java compiler to bootstrap the rest of the java support.
Having an independent implementation of a compiler always makes it
easier to re-bootstrap the specific language again. (And that can be
necessary, particularly for less used architectures that struggle to
keep up to date.)