One of the tentative goals for the upcoming FreeBSD 10 release is for BSD's base system to be totally free of code licensed under the GPL.
That goal took a massive step forward this week with the announcement that Clang is now the default compiler on x86 builds of FreeBSD, replacing the GPL-licensed GCC compiler.
"There will probably be a few bumps as we work out the last kinks, including a ABI issue for i386 system libraries, but the transition is expected to be fairly smooth for most users," wrote FreeBSD core team member Brooks Davis.
Besides its BSD licensing, Clang, along with its LLVM back end, provides better integration with IDEs by making it easier to map errors back to the offending piece of code better than GCC can. Clang is already used in Apple's XCode.
For philosophical reasons regarding the GPLv3, FreeBSD has been officially using an outdated version of GCC (4.2.1) in its releases for some time, although there was nothing holding back users wanting to update the GCC compiler to later versions themselves.
Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining the company as a programmer.Leaving CBS Interactive in 2010 to follow his deep desire to study the snowdrifts and culinary delights of Canada, Chris based himself in Vancouver and paid for his new snowboarding and poutine cravings as a programmer for a lifestyle gaming startup.Chris returns to CBS in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia determined to meld together his programming and journalistic tendencies once and for all.In his free time, Chris is often seen yelling at different operating systems for their own unique failures, avoiding the dreaded tech support calls from relatives, and conducting extensive studies of internets — he claims he once read an entire one.