Re: IL design?

=?ISO-8859-1?Q?J=FCrgen_Kahrs?= <>
13 Dec 2006 13:03:36 -0500

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From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?J=FCrgen_Kahrs?= <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 13 Dec 2006 13:03:36 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 06-12-049 06-12-052 06-12-053
Keywords: optimize, design
Posted-Date: 13 Dec 2006 13:03:36 EST

Robert A Duff wrote:

> That's what everybody says, but I don't think it's true. I think an
> "assembly language" is a language whose semantics are defined in terms
> of what code gets generated. The presence of macros and whatnot does
> not change this -- even with a macro assembler, the programmer has
> complete (or nearly complete) control over the generated code.

Yes, in a strict sense you are right.

> A "higher level language" has semantics defined in terms of what the
> program does. C is clearly this.


> I've built compilers that generate C, and it can certainly work, but
> it's far from ideal.

The original poster asked for portability and efficiency. In this
respect, C is a good choice. If you ask for more (source-level
analysis, exception handling), then there might be other ILs that
provide more than C. But are the other ILs good at portability and
efficiency ?

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