From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
In computing, EGCS (Experimental/Enhanced GNU Compiler System, pronounced "eggs") was a compiler system which forked from GCC in 1997 and was re-merged in April 1999.
By 1991, GCC 1.x had reached a point of stability, but architectural limitations prevented many desired improvements, so the Free Software Foundation started work on GCC 2.x. But during the mid-1990s, the FSF kept such close control on what was added to the official version of GCC 2.x that GCC was used as one example of the "cathedral" development model in Eric S. Raymond's essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
As GCC was free software, programmers wanting to work in other directions — particularly those writing interfaces for languages other than C — were free to develop their own fork of the compiler. Having multiple forks proved inefficient and unwieldy, however, and the difficulty in getting work accepted by the official GCC project was greatly frustrating for many.
In 1997, a group of developers formed EGCS, to merge several experimental forks into a single project. Projects merged included g77 (Fortran), PGCC (Pentium-optimised GCC), many C++ improvements and many new architectures and operating system variants.
EGCS development proved sufficiently more vital than GCC development that the FSF officially halted development on their GCC 2.x compiler, "blessed" EGCS as the official version of GCC and appointed the EGCS project as the GCC maintainers in April 1999. Furthermore, the project explicitly adopted the "bazaar" model over the "cathedral" model.