Gccpy Python Front-end to GCC

Philip Herron <redbrain@gcc.gnu.org>
Mon, 14 Oct 2013 09:47:00 +0100

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
Gccpy Python Front-end to GCC redbrain@gcc.gnu.org (Philip Herron) (2013-10-14)
| List of all articles for this month |

From: Philip Herron <redbrain@gcc.gnu.org>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2013 09:47:00 +0100
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: tools, available
Posted-Date: 14 Oct 2013 20:03:37 EDT


I've been working on GCCPY since roughly november 2009 at least in its
concept. It was announced as a Gsoc 2010 project and also a Gsoc 2011
project. I was mentored by Ian Taylor who has been an extremely big
influence on my software development carrer.

Gccpy is an Ahead of time implementation of Python ontop of GCC. So it
works as you would expect with a traditional compiler such as GCC to
compile C code. Or G++ to compile C++ etc.

Whats interesting and deserves a significant mention is my work is
heavily inspired by Paul Biggar's phd thesis on optimizing dynamic
languages and his work on PHC a ahead of time php compiler. I've had
so many ups and down in this project and i need to thank Andi Hellmund
for his contributions to the project.

The project has taken so many years as an in my spare time project to
get to this point. I for example its taken me so long simply to
understand a stabilise the core fundamentals for the compiler and how
it could all work.

The release can be found here. I will probably rename the tag to the
milestone (lucy) later on.
(Lucy is our dog btw, German Shepard (6 years young) loves to lick
your face off :) )

Documentation can be found http://gcc.gnu.org/wiki/PythonFrontEnd.
(Although this is sparse partialy on purpose since i do not wan't
people thinking this is by any means ready to compile real python

I've found some good success with this project in compiling python
though its largely unknown to the world simply because i am nervous of
the compiler and more specifically the python compiler world.

But at least to me there is at least to me an un-answered question in
current compiler implementations. AOT vs Jit.

Is a jit implementation of a language (not just python) better than
traditional ahead of time compilation.

What i can say is ahead of time at least strips out the crap needed
for the users code to be run. As in people are forgetting the basics
of how a computer works in my opinion when it comes to making code run
faster. Simply need to reduce the number of instructions that need to
be executed in order to preform what needs to be done. Its not about
Jit and bla bla keyword llvm keyword instruction scheduling keyword

I could go into the arguments but i feel i should let the project
speak for itself its very immature so you really cant compare it to
anything like it but it does compile little bits and bobs fairly well
but there is much more work needed.

There is nothing at steak, its simply an idea provoked from a great
phd thesis and i want to see how it would work out. I don't get funded
of paid. I love working on compilers and languages but i don't have a
day job doing it so its my little pet to open source i believe its at
least worth some research.

I would really like to hear the feedback good and bad. I can't
describe how much work i've put into this and how much persistence
I've had to have in light of recent reddit threads talking about my

I have so many people to thank to get to this point! Namely Ian
Taylor, Paul Biggar, Andi Hellmund, Cyril Roelandt Robert Bradshaw,
PyBelfast, and the Linux Outlaws community. I really couldn't have got
to this point in my life without the help of these people!



Post a followup to this message

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