Bliss-11 and other Bliss compilers

"Mark Mickelsen" <>
26 Nov 2006 21:53:48 -0500

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Bliss-11 and other Bliss compilers (Mark Mickelsen) (2006-11-26)
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From: "Mark Mickelsen" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 26 Nov 2006 21:53:48 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: history, comment
Posted-Date: 26 Nov 2006 21:53:48 EST

Hi again,

I became enamored of the Bliss-11 compiler when I was in graduate
school in the 1970's. When I graduated I spent my career designing and
building embedded systems using 8-bit micros. I did nothing with the
implementing compilers during that time so I'm just a little behind (a
mere 30 years). Now that I'm retired I'd like to get back to some
work on Bliss-11. I still think that it's one of the best compilers I
have ever seen and from my research lately it seems that it is still
considered one of the best optimizing compilers ever created. I have a
copy of the sources for both Bliss-10 and Bliss-11 but since I don't
have a PDP-10 lying around they don't do me much good. I also have an
original copy of the coveted green book by Wulf in excellent
condition. (I thought it was lost but I found it down in the basement
after all.) What I would really like for Christmas is a Bliss-11
compiler that runs on my PC and generates code for an 8-bit
microcontroller. And obviously I would like to be able to customize
the output for different micros.

I see from my beginning research that work has continued on the Bliss
compilers, but in what form I don't know. Can someone point me in the
right direction to start my reading on this continued work and on the
available reconfigurable and retargetable compilers such as the GNU
optimizing compiler? I'm wondering if Open64 is one such compiler,
also. I know nothing whatsoever about it.

As you can see, I have a lot of catching up to do. Any help would be

Mark Mickelsen
[I don't know of any work on Bliss past VMS Bliss-32 for the Vax and
Alpha. You might see if you can find one of those and try
bootstrapping from one of them to an x86. Since the Vax and Alpha
have approximately the same memory addressing as an x86, byte
addressed little-endian, it should mostly be a matter of minor
adjustments to the stack frame format and redoing the code generator
to generate x86 code. I wouldn't waste time with Bliss-11 unless you
want to target 16 bit machines. -John]

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