Getting the JDK to use gcc
Having spent the last few days trying to compile the JDK on Windows, I now have a real answer to Ray Gans' question: "What can Sun do to encourage more outside JDK contributions"? The answer: move the standard JDK compilation to use gcc on all platforms.
There was talk of this back in late 2004:
where it even sounded like serious efforts were underway to support some free compiler on Windows. Having to buy and install MSVC++6.0sp2 is just a huge burden.
See my feeble efforts to compile hotspot:
and Mike Atkinson's efforts to compile the JDK:
If Sun could just get onto a fairly recent gcc for Windows, Linux, and Solaris, that would make everyone's lives easier. Keep officially supporting only one version of Linux as you do today, that's ok.
Yes, doing so would be difficult. But it would not only clean up Sun's current build process, it would do a better job of enforcing standards-compliant code, and probably a performance boost too. But most important, it would make it feasible for mere-mortal outsiders to compile the JDK.