An article about the Cygnus tree

Joe Buck
Tue Sep 5 12:01:00 GMT 2000

> Joe Buck <> wrote:
> > Still wrong.  The FSF never "closed their gcc project".  This *is* the gcc
> > project.  Same people for the most part, same code base.
> Not quite. Yes, politically it's the same project, has many of the same people,
> and the core code is a version of the same thing. But this is not what my
> article is about. My article is about the Cygnus tree, the top-level
> architecture, and the fact that all these projects are now dependent on the
> tree architecture and belong in the single unified repo.

I am starting to see the problem.  You are confusing several things
together and mashing them into one concept that you are calling "the
Cygnus tree".

Concept #1 is the software architecture that allows for a top-level
makefile with tools placed underneath that top level that can be built
all in one step.  Yes, this was invented by folks at Cygnus.  But
what you're failing to see is that this system was designed so that
a GNU source directory can be made a subdirectory and then built *without
changing it*.  Since you don't appreciate that, you falsely believe that
a huge change had to be made to gcc to get it to build within this
structure.  Not at all: it just drops in.  The Cygnus folks had to do
it that way to work and play successfully with GNU maintainers that did
not use the structure.

Similarly, we noticed in the early days of egcs that the makeinfo sources
were a lot smaller than the .info files, so we decided to include the
source in the distribution (maybe not the greatest decision).  It was not
necessary to change texinfo/makeinfo to do this.

Because you make this mistake, you think that gcc underwent a larger
technical change than it did.  In fact, you appear to believe that this
was a revolution or something.  Surprise: it is no big deal.

Concept #2 is the CVS archive that Cygnus (now Red Hat) makes releases
from for their own customers.  This tree is *not* the same as the "net"
version of gcc (or egcs before it).  In many cases, work that Cygnus did
went to customers first and only later was merged into the egcs or GCC

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