[Announce] Timber 1.6, a Spar/Java compiler, released

Kees van Reeuwijk <C.vanReeuwijk@twi.tudelft.nl>
25 Nov 2001 22:41:14 -0500

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[Announce] Timber 1.6, a Spar/Java compiler, released C.vanReeuwijk@twi.tudelft.nl (Kees van Reeuwijk) (2001-11-25)
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From: Kees van Reeuwijk <C.vanReeuwijk@twi.tudelft.nl>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 25 Nov 2001 22:41:14 -0500
Organization: Delft University of Technology
Keywords: Java, available
Posted-Date: 25 Nov 2001 22:41:14 EST

Hello everyone,

We are happy to announce the release of version 1.6 of the Timber
compiler, our compiler for a superset of Java.

The Timber compiler implements Spar/Java, a superset of Java with
additional language constructs for high-performance computation. The
additions include support for data parallelism and task parallelism,
tuples, multi-dimensional arrays, generic classes and interfaces
through templates, complex numbers, and subscript operator

Timber is implemented as a static whole-program compiler, using a
standard C++ compiler to generate machine code. For now only Gnu C
compilers are supported, but that is mainly a restriction in our
configuration system. We plan to support other compilers in the

The Spar language extensions are only supported for source files with
the extension .spar. For source files with the extension .java or
.jav, the Timber compiler behaves like a standard Java compiler (on
the Jacks validation suite it scores slightly better(!) than Sun's
Java 2 JDK 1.4 beta 2 compiler). The main restrictions are (a) no
support for dynamic class loading (because we do static whole-program
compilation), and (b) no support for threads (because we provide our
own parallelization constructs).

Since the compiler uses well-defined and accessible internal data
structures, we believe that it is also very suitable as an
experimental compiler.

The compiler supports data parallel and task parallel programming, but
integration with parallel communication libraries (PVM and MPI) is not
yet completed. That is, we have a working parallelizing compiler on
our systems, but configuration on other systems requires detailed
knowledge of the compiler. We are working on this issue; for the
moment our public releases of the compiler do not officially support

Timber is released under the Gnu Public License (GPL), and is
available for downloading from the Timber website:


The Timber compiler has been designed to be portable, but it has
mainly been tested on recent Debian i386 Linux systems. It requires
two external packages: a recent version of Tm, the template manager;
and Kaffe version 1.0.6. Both can be downloaded from the page
mentioned above.
Kees van Reeuwijk, Delft University of Technology

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