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25 May 2011, 12:37

FreeBSD and NetBSD's new C++ library

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PathScale logo The FreeBSD Foundation and the NetBSD Foundation have announced that they have acquired a non-exclusive copyright licence to PathScale's libcxxrt C++ runtime library and will be making it available under the 2 clause BSD licence. PathScale are known for their work developing high performance Fortran, C and C++ compilers for AMD64, Intel64 and x86 CPUs. Libcxxrt was developed as an implementation of the C++ ABI (application binary interface) for Itanium and is now usable by the x86 BSD family of operating systems.

Previously, BSD systems had used the GNU libsupc++ library. The libcxxrt library offers implementations of the dynamic features of C++, such as dynamic casting, exception handling and thread-safe static initialisers. To create a purely BSD licensed system, the BSD developers have been gradually replacing the GNU toolchain and runtime with BSD licensed code.

Robert Watson, FreeBSD committer and director at the FreeBSD Foundation, said that the work "complements other work done in the community and is a further step in letting us adopt alternative toolchains in FreeBSD". PathScale's CTO, Christopher Bergström, added that it was a first step for the company in offering first class support for both NetBSD and FreeBSD, while NetBSD developer Joerg Sonnenberger called the library "the missing link for a BSD licensed C++ compiler and the C++ runtime".


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