On 2 Jun 2014, at 14:28, Clem Cole <clemc@ccc.com> wrote:
[About gcc]
But the command suite was able to grow and lots of people besides rms contribute to it, because the basic development tools were there.   As strange and difficult a person he is, I suspect we do all own rms a certain level of thanks for the basic dev tools.

In particular I think the existence of GCC was critical to the existence of Linux: there is some complicated history involving a GCC port to ?Minix?, which I think was done because Minix's compiler was rudimentary, and that port enabling some Finnish guy (using Minix I guess) to bring up a kernel.  I suspect there are people on this list who remember this better than I do though.