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LLVM 3.8 Discontinues Old Windows Versions, Deprecates Autoconf, Improves Clang

by Sergio De Simone on Mar 11, 2016 |

The LLVM team has announced the release of LLVM, which includes a few major deprecations, new C API headers, and Clang 3.8.

With version 3.8, LLVM cuts support for Windows XP and Vista, thus requiring at least Windows 7. Additionally, it deprecates the autoconf build system, which will be removed in version 3.9, and makes CMake the mandated build system.

LLVM 3.8 also introduces a new organization of the C API headers, with the aim of improving build time. This reorganization affects both Type.h and ErrorHandling.h files, which now contain all types specific declarations and error handling routines respectively. The C API change should not impact most dependencies, since both files are included from Core.h, but transitive dependencies may be affected. LLVM 3.8 also includes a number of platform specific changes for the MIPS, ARM, PowerPC, and X86 targets.

Included in LLVM 3.8 is Clang 3.8, the Clang C/C++/Objective-C frontend, which brings both generic improvements to Clang as a whole and to its underlying infrastructure as well as to specific languages. Among the former are improvements to diagnostics, new compiler flags for DWARF debugging, and better alignment enforcement. On the languages front, new features have been introduced for the C language, Open CL, and OpenMP, which is now supported by default. Furthermore, Clang’s static analyzer has been improved in the area of C++ lambdas and through new checks for vfork misuse, __nonnull qualifier misuse in Objective C, and more.

It should be noted that other popular languages that LLVM supports, such as Swift, Emscripten, and Rust, ship their own forked version of LLVM, with fixes and improvements being routinely pushed upstream.

For a full list of changes in both releases, check the LLVM and Clang release notes.

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