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I heard that Apple is going to replace the GNU compiler built into Xcode with a new compiler. What is the new compiler and what type of changes can we expect to see?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 29 '12 at 17:56

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Strictly speaking, GCC is not "built into" XCode. Along with all the other command-line developer tools, it's installed into /Developer/usr/bin/, and exists independently of XCode. –  Mike Baranczak Jan 29 '12 at 18:27
@MikeBaranczak thanks for the clarification! –  William Saults Jan 29 '12 at 18:31
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up vote 15 down vote accepted

It's clang, it's hosted at www.llvm.org. The transition is already well underway -- GCC 4.2 has already been dropped, although GCC 4.2 + LLVM is still shipped with the current release.

  • It already has a good amount of C++11 support
  • It's fast
  • It uses less memory
  • It powers Xcode 4's code sense and fixits
  • GCC drop-in replacement (it doesn't offer every option)
  • Error messages are easily interpreted
  • Components of the llvm toolset have shipped with Xcode for years now (optimizers, static analysis)

There's too much to list, but the links above should be a good start.

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Excellent feedback! Thank you! –  William Saults Jan 29 '12 at 17:45
@William you're welcome –  justin Jan 29 '12 at 17:47
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