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LLVM 2.8 and OSGi Community Event

Java Conference 2010 Eclipse Osgi Pack200

I wrote about the release of LLVM 2.8 over at InfoQ. I think that LLVM is coming along a long way; it's not able to replace gcc for everything yet (lesser supported testing on non-Intel platforms) and the fact that it's a pain to get binaries for various systems acts as a brake for its adoption. I do think that Eclipse CDT would be good for partnering with LLVM, but sadly LLVM is weakest on the embedded and non-Intel processor side; whereas the vendors who sponsor CDT are mostly focussed on the embedded processing side.

One of the great things about LLVM is that it's embeddable, and ships with a BSD license. So this means it would be possible to bundle it in a plugin and ship it with CDT out of the box, which would give compilation directly. That doesn't happen with CDT at the moment because of the GCC dependency (though Wascana solves that issue; if I don't mention it, Doug will). It also would be a great way of providing Objective-C support to CDT. The question is, how easily would the Eclipse parsers and the LLVM AST work together? I don't know the answer to that.

I also wrote a round-up of some of the topics on the OSGi Community Event last week; though I still have more to write in the coming week or two. For those that have been involved with Eclipse over the last few years, it covers Jim's keynote on the history behind OSGi and its adoption by Eclipse, as well as other topics. I was also glad to see Tim Ellison's talk on Harmony, which is an already fully modularised JVM, up on stage. One of the boxes on it was Pack200, which (a long time ago) I helped write some of the unpacking parts. But it's great to see a modular VM which is able to create a 10Mb runtime for Java applications that don't need cruft like AWT or Swing.

So, cue Tim or Doug commenting “we're always looking for contributions from the community” for the above suggestions. Hey, if you're interested in the intersection of LLVM, Eclipse and CDT then why not step up. I'm sure I can't be the only one ... can I?