Subject: Re: Questions about features of NetBSD
To: Marc Boschma <>
From: J.T. Conklin <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/12/1995 11:00:31
> >I feel that the fat binary concept doesn't scale well beyond two
> >architectures, and NetBSD currently has 7 (i386, m68k4k, m68k8k,
> >sparc, mips, ns32k, alpha) with more on the way.

> How about an architectural independent format for multi-platform
> distrubution. It won't give you the speed of native binaries, but at
> least it will give portablity.

> Two candiates that come to mind are: RTL (this is abit of a problem,
> if two versons of NetBSD differ significantly, although it could be
> argued that if an application is platform specific then it should be
> native anyway), and the Java virtual machine.

RTL is neither machine independant (For example, the RTL generated by
the i386 and the m68k back ends will be different) nor complete (some
information is kept internally and is not represented in RTL).

There has been some work to have gcc emit bytecodes that could be
interpreted, but I don't know when/if this will be mature and if the
bytecode streams will be machine independant.

I have not read enough about the Java virtual machine to know how
difficult it would be to write a java back end for gcc.  (I would
write such a beast as a traditional back end, instead of trying 
to extract information out of RTL).