I think illumos is at a key juncture, and the issue relates to our toolchain.
We have gcc 4.4.4 working thanks in large part to the efforts of folks like Rich Lowe.
We have historically relied on Sun Studio (now Solaris Studio) as our "base" or "default" compiler for C and C++ programs, and also to supply lint coverage.
I've been thinking for a long time that its past time we (the illumos community) moved on from this. Not only are the Studio 12 compilers not available in source form, they are now not available in suitable form for building illumos as binaries either. (Apparently it is possible under some terms to get Solaris Studio 12.3, but who knows if those compilers are suitable for building illumos. In the past we have always needed specifically patched compilers for Solaris.)
The situation where a general developer cannot obtain the necessary tool chain for working with illumos is untenable.
Today we require "lint" as part of an official build. But not just "any" lint, but lint generated by a specific patched older version of Sun Studio 12. A version that is no longer available to the community at large.
(And in full disclosure, the problem for me is brought to a head by the fact that the machine I had my local installation of these tools on has been retired, and I find I don't have another backup of them readily at hand to install on my new machine.)
So, I'm placing this as a call to the illumos community at large, and especially to our RTI advocates. Its time. Really.
Studio has to go.
I don't care if we leave the infrastructure in place for people that want to continue to use Studio, but we need to switch to gcc. Rich's 4.4.4 version gets the job done for now. It would be great if we could support newer versions, but I understand that this requires some non-trivial amount of effort (some gcc patches that need to be upstreamed, as I understand it.)
We cannot be tied to a closed tool chain; especially a tool chain that doesn't at least include binary redistribution privileges.
For the record, I've posted the same content to the illumos developer and advocates lists.