Re: C front-end advice sought (Basim Kadhim)
20 Dec 1996 17:16:50 -0500

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
C front-end advice sought (1996-12-18)
Re: C front-end advice sought (Lars Thomas Hansen) (1996-12-20)
Re: C front-end advice sought (1996-12-20)
| List of all articles for this month |

From: (Basim Kadhim)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 20 Dec 1996 17:16:50 -0500
Organization: Dept. of Computer Science, University of Colorado, Boulder
References: 96-12-133
Keywords: C, parse
In-reply-to:'s message of 18 Dec 1996 00:11:46 -0500

  > We are about to begin a project to build a tool that translates an
  > ANSI C program annotated with pragmas into an ANSI C program with
  > calls to a library (implementing the functionality of the pragmas).
  > We are looking to build on some kind of front-end that parses ANSI C
  > and builds a symbol table and (maybe or maybe not) a parse tree. One
  > possibility that we are considering is starting with gcc and stripping
  > it down to a front-end. Another possibility is to use ctree. We
  > would consider any other possibility as well. What is important to us
  > is: (i) the front-end must be for standard ANSI C, (ii) it must be
  > reliable and robust, (iii) it should be easy to understand, work with,
  > and extend, and (iv) small is better than large. We would consider
  > both freely available tools and commercial packages.

I would strongly suggest having a look at the Eli Compiler
Construction System for this purpose. We have a C frontend
specification that builds an abstract syntax tree. It is currently
being polished up a bit, but the polished up version should be
available in the next few weeks. The specification is written in the
literate programming style and attempts to follow the text of the ANSI
standard fairly closely.

Eli also integrates a tool we call Idem that makes it quite easy to
copy the input (or modified versions of the input) to the output based
on the abstract syntax tree. What you want to do sounds similar to a
project recently undertaken to process parallelizing FORTRAN
directives (based on our FORTRAN frontend specification) into
appropriate runtime calls.

For more information about Eli, please have a look at URL You may also send e-mail to with further questions.
Basim Kadhim
University of Colorado, Boulder

Post a followup to this message

Return to the comp.compilers page.
Search the comp.compilers archives again.