Re: code generator generators? (Bill Leonard)
9 Sep 91 15:14:42 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Bill Leonard)
Keywords: code, design
Organization: Harris Computer Systems Division, Fort Lauderdale, FL
References: 91-09-012
Date: 9 Sep 91 15:14:42 GMT

In article 91-09-012, (Michael Gschwind - EECS) writes:
> What's the current state of research on code generator generators? While the
> front end side seems to be fairly well automated by now, back end
> generation still seems to be an unresolved issue. There are only two systems
> I can think of which are (or claim to be) able to generate back ends:
> * GCC, which has probably the most workable - and the only
> in-production use - code generator generator.

This statement is untrue. Harris' compiler technology, which we call CCG,
is a code-generator generator. Actually, it is more than this, as the
entire back-end (register allocation, optimization, and code generation) is
target-independent. The technology is based on the PQCC research from
Carnegie-Mellon, with significant enhancements made by Harris.

Our CCG technology supports Ada, C, and FORTRAN; these compilers have been
retargeted to 4 widely-varying architectures, including a 24-bit machine,
the Motorola M68030, and the Motorola M88100. Our technology is much more
general than GCC, which concentrates mostly on the instruction selection
aspects of code generation, and which also is targeted for a specific
subclass of architectures.

Retargeting our CCG compilers is still not a trivial task, but it can be
done in a much shorter time than writing a compiler from scratch, and the
resulting compiler generates much higher-quality code than one typically
gets from a first-release compiler.

I apologize if this sounded like a commercial, but I wanted to emphasize
that this technology is both practical and in commercial use.

Bill Leonard
Harris Computer Systems Division
2101 W. Cypress Creek Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

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