SUMMARY: C-Compiler no longer included in OS?!!

From: Thomas Weihrich (
Date: Thu Jan 02 1992 - 17:19:05 CST

Hi everybody !

Sorry to have kept you all waiting.
Here's the summary on the subject that got me many helpful replies,
a few flames and 2 insults.
I think this topic belongs into this forum, just because the C-Compiler
is one of the most-used tools in unix system programming and system
administration (even if it's just for compiling other tools).
So no more flames please.
I have promised an unbiased summary.

Credits at the end of the summary.

Here's what I've found out:

1) Sun planned to unbundle the C-compiler and the program development
tools (SPARCworks, including the debugger)
2) Due to a very angry community the official Sun guideline seems to be:
"Nothing has been decided yet" This is a quote.
3) the idea of unbundling the compiler was brought up by sales persons,
not by the tech guys.
4) I did not get a final official word on it.
5) Sun Microsystems announced the unbundling of the C-compiler at the
SUG-conference in San Diego.
6) If the C-compiler is unbundled, the debugger will be yaup (yet
another unbundled product), which will be known as SPARCworks

7) The unbundled C-compiler will be expensive. According to the replies
that I received, the price will be higher than 2k$ per machine, or
100 000 USD for a site license.
8) The debugger might very well cost about the same amount, I did not
get info on its pricing.

9) The object file format will change starting with SunOS 5.0. Sun will
use ELF encoding instead of the old a.out format.

10) There will be no gcc available immediately, because gcc does not yet
support the ELF format.
If it is available, you'll still need the Sparc CC to compile it, unless
the FSF should start providing binaries.

11) Old programs will have problems running under SunOS 5.0
The following restrictions apply:
programs must be dynamically linked
programs must not use kernel structures
no direct kernel traps allowed
no use of undocumented features

any programs that are linked statically will not repeat not run.

Running programs compiled under 4.1.1 will almost certainly decrease the
performance of the workstation.

12) hardware drivers must be rewritten, support for many devices such as
the ALM board will be discontinued.

Final words:

Until I get a FREE copy of a Sun C-compiler with the upgrade disk, I am
forced to assume that the unbundling of the compiler has indeed taken
I will not discuss any alternatives here. Anybody who wishes to contact
me about them is welcome to send e-mail.
Anybody interested in comments about this topic is invited to drop me
some mail too.

I hope this is unbiased. I will keep all those who are interested
informed, if they notify me.

Thanks for your patience

Thomas Weihrich
Thanks to:

Michael Maciolek
Dick St.Peters
Kathryn L. Smith kathy@XN.LL.MIT.EDU
Fabrice Le Metayer
J. Eric Townsend
Calum D. Mackay
Brian Reynolds
Russ Poffenberger
Kevin Sheehan kalli!
Tad Guy
Terence P. Ma
Robert McGraw
Mike Raffety
Jerry M. Carlin jmcarli@srv.PacBell.COM
J. Matt Landrum
Len Evens
Andy J. Stefancik
Brian Keves
David Trueman
Fred Seals
Doug Peterson
Dr. Peter J. Welcher
Fran Sullivan fmrco!
Paul Graham
Roger Burroughes
Jan Berger Henriksen
Ian Daniel
Marcel Bernards Bernards@ECN.NL
Eckhard Rueggeberg
Beat H. Meier
Steve Jay
Wilhelm Methfessel
Mark Galbraith
Paul Allen
David Fetrow
John A. Turner
Mark Glasser
Keith Farrar
Mitch Baltuch
klaus u schallhorn
Mike Reddy
Steve Hanson
Lewie Wolfgang
Bob Rutherford
David Mostardi
Ed Arnold
Brett Chapman
Chip Christian
Hal Stern stern@sunne.East.Sun.COM
Michael S. Maiten
Meg Grice
David Wiseman
Ian Johnson
Claus Assmann
Bill Shorter

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