Re: TenDRA

"Andy Johnson" <>
28 Oct 1999 02:03:08 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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From: "Andy Johnson" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 28 Oct 1999 02:03:08 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 99-10-125
Keywords: UNCOL

As one who worked on the ANDF project at OSF, I can safely say that
the C producer fully supports the current (ISO 9899-1990) C standard,
and was validated against two different commercial validation suites
on a variety of target architectures.

The C++ producer was developed as a follow-on by the TenDRA project,
as part of the OMI GLUE project. It supports the C++ language as
defined in the 1996 draft standard, which is not quite the same as the
C++ standard approved last year. It scored quite high in Ross Smith's
C++ Compiler Comparison chart
( It has some issues
dealing with template instantiations, and does not include headers or
implementations of either STL or iostreams, making it of limited
utility as an off-the-shelf C++ compiler. It is a good source of
compiler technology, however. The latest producer implementation is
much more readible than its predecessor.

The machine-independent header files included with the TenDRA
distribution form the basis of an excellent portability analyzer tool
(and was used as such in a commercial product). They describe APIs in
terms of the specification, not in terms of a particular
implementation, as in most vendor-supplied header files. The token
library builder constructs mappings between these machine-independent
headers and the vendor-specific headers, so that the machine-dependent
expansion is performed in the back-end instead of the
preprocessor/front-end as with most commercial C/C++ compilers. This
is the basis for the architecture-neutral aspect of the intermediate
representation. It is really quite elegant. Unfortunately, elegant
and/or superior technology is not always the winner in today's market,
and TenDRA was never commercially successful, despite several attempts
to make it so. It was finally made publically available in 1998. As
far as I know, no further enhancements are being made by the original

The "official" home page for TenDRA appears to be temporarily out of
service. A DERA insider is looking into it. Stay tuned.


Ole Foskaty <> wrote in message
> Has anyone gained some experience with the TenDRA software, i.e. the
> C/C++ compiler (or as they call it: producer/installer)?

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