Re: Compiler market?

Pascal Bourguignon <>
9 Apr 2006 17:20:57 -0400

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Compiler market? (2006-04-08)
Re: Compiler market? (Pascal Bourguignon) (2006-04-09)
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From: Pascal Bourguignon <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 9 Apr 2006 17:20:57 -0400
Organization: Informatimago
References: 06-04-053
Keywords: practice
Posted-Date: 09 Apr 2006 17:20:57 EDT writes:

> Can anyone point me to any material surveying the commercial market
> for compilers and compilation tools? For example:
> - how many vendors produce/sell compilers and
> compilation toolchains?
> - of those how many have their own front-ends?
> - how much revenue do compilers generate?
> - where are they produced, and bought?
> - and what's the breakdown by language?
> - and in each case, what's the trend?
> Any, never mind all, of these data points would be useful.
> For something that's been close to the heart of the computer industry
> for 50 years - and which has consumed a huge amount of academic and
> industrial research effort - I'm finding it hard to find any definite
> facts about it. Thanks in advance...

You could collect the FAQ of all the programming languages that have
one (scan comp.lang.*) Something like:*&as_usubject=&as_uauthors=&lr=&as_drrb=q&as_qdr=&as_mind=1&as_minm=1&as_miny=1981&as_maxd=9&as_maxm=4&as_maxy=2006&safe=off

In general, in the FAQ of the language you'll find references to free
software implementations and to commercial implementations.

Notice how a good number of programming language implementations are
free software. Notice also how a good number of "commercial"
compilers are free or gratis software too. For example, Apple
Computer Inc. distributes gcc, and even its whole IDE, Xcode, for
free. I hear Microsoft does the same for its Microsoft Visual C
compiler. Here, you have corporations distributing free software or
distributing for free proprietary software. How much revenue do their
effort in the compiler field generate? It's hard to tell, but they
wouldn't do it if they'd not get some benefit!

Nonetheless, with the references to the commercial compilers, you can
then track the corporations who develop and sell them. Yahoo! Finance
can be of help, but most of these corporations will be small and
privately owned, so it'll be harder to get economic facts about them.
You could further check each of their corporate web site, or directly
contact them.
__Pascal Bourguignon__

[I suspect you'll find that the market for compilers for general
purpose systems is pretty much kaput. Microsoft and Apple sell tools
as loss leaders to encourage people to produce applications for their
cash cow systems, even Borland just decided to spin off their
development tools and concentrate in other areas. The only area I can
think of where commercial tools can still be viable is embedded
systems with unusual chips, limited memory, and a great incentive to
get programs right before they're burned into a million ROMs. -John]

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