I'm certainly not suggesting to break the GCC build in order to have an Open Watcom
build of SeaBIOS. I'm also not in any way suggesting that SeaBIOS developers should be
forced to switch to Windows (I didn't say so, did I?). I'm for widening the
platform choice, not restricting it.
Open Watcom is free, yes. It's not GPL, but it has an OSI-approved license. See
Multiple compilers generate different errors, yes - which makes it both more difficult to
write "generally acceptable" code and easier to discover genuine problems that
one or the other compiler may not diagnose.
----- Original Message ----
From: Jes Sorensen <Jes.Sorensen(a)redhat.com>
To: Michal Necasek <mnecasek(a)yahoo.com>
Cc: Kevin O'Connor <kevin(a)koconnor.net>et>; seabios(a)seabios.org
Sent: Fri, March 26, 2010 11:15:12 AM
Subject: Re: [SeaBIOS] SeaBIOS 16-bit compiler
On 03/26/10 11:02, Michal Necasek wrote:
(sorry for top posting)
I suppose you don't envision SeaBIOS developers
working on Windows then? I expect getting the right GCC bits going on Windows is a roughly
comparable effort to getting Open Watcom working on Linux...
Well if you decide to port it to this Watcom compiler, I doubt Kevin
would object if you posted patches for it. The issue is more which is
the default compiler, and said patches should not be allowed to break
the build for the default compiler.
Given the base of SeaBIOS and it's ties to Coreboot and KVM, it's pretty
obvious that the primary developer base is working on Linux. Telling
these developers that they must do their work on Windows from now on
Re OW on Linux - the port is a 'beta' in the
sense of targeting Linux. But it's possible to build (a subset of) Open Watcom on
Linux using GCC and use it as a cross compiler. If it helped, I could probably prepare
some kind of a package because I know which parts are needed.
My first question here is, is it free? If it's a proprietary commercial
product, it would be out of the question right there.
I'm not suggesting that OW should replace GCC as
the tool to build SeaBIOS, just that it might be a viable alternative. I don't *know*
if Open Watcom would generate significantly better code, I'm just assuming that at for
the 16-bit parts it's very likely, and the 32-bit code is not likely to be
significantly different, especially if code size is a concern.
Given that this is BIOS code, performance is really less of an issue
than if it was a core driver in your operating system. As long as the
compiler used generates code that fits within the space constraints and
most importantly, it is correctly generated, then IMHO performance is a
lesser issue, and we shouldn't forget that multiple compilers may
generate different errors in the code which may be more work to resolve.