Taos and compilers

Don Baarda <dbaarda@ozemail.com.au>
Sun, 18 Sep 1994 05:59:23 GMT

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Taos and compilers dbaarda@ozemail.com.au (Don Baarda) (1994-09-18)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: Don Baarda <dbaarda@ozemail.com.au>
Keywords: question
Organization: OzEmail Pty Ltd
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 1994 05:59:23 GMT

I am considering taking time off work to write compilers,
optimizers and/or programming tools for (mainly) the Taos operating
system. Before I blow six months (or more) of my life, I would like to
know if it would be worth it. It would help me considerably if I could get
some idea what kind of interest there would be in some of the ideas I am

Currently the Taos OS has only a VPcode assembler and a basic
compiler (see below for info on Taos). Being developed is a C/C++
compiler, and others may be working on porting GNU stuff across. I
figured, since C has such a large following, a C compiler is predestined
and I may as well concentrate on other, less inevitable (better =:-),
languages and tools.

Initially this would be just a standard Modula2 compiler, followed
by an optimizer. I would probably release the compiler as shareware, with
registered users getting the optimizer as well as support etc. After this
I might try my hand at some other languages, like prolog, smalltalk,
eiffel, etc. I am not interested (at this stage) in IDE type stuff so all
of these tools would be command line driven.

The main (registered users only) component would be the optimizer.
I would like it to work on any VPcode, but this may not be possible. I
would like it to do global optimization, using data-flow analysis, to
remove/pre-calculate (all?) redundant code and auto-detect/optimize
parallelism. I believe that this should be possible, maybe within a year
working full time.

What I need to know is how many people would be interested in
registering such a modula2 compiler at what price, and if not, why.
Suggested prices are $50 US and up. Bare in mind that if I can't
financially justify taking time off work, It will only happen in my spare
time, taking years to complete, if ever. Suggested alternative languages,
alternative platforms, information and assistance will all help. Any input
at all would be useful. Send me mail at:


ABO =:-)


The Taos operating system was reviewed in Byte, july 1994, on page
53. To summarise it is a real time, object oriented, hardware independant,
parallel, operating system. It has a 12K nanokernel that runs on each
processor in a parallel network. All Taos programs are compiled into VP
(virtual processor) code that is translated into native machine code as it
is loaded. This enables processor networks to be constructed out of more
than one type of processor. Currently VP code translators (and hence
kernels) exist for the following:

Intel 286, 386, and 486
INMOS T400, T800 and T9000,
ARM ARM2, ARM3, ARM6, and ARM7
LSI LR33050(MIPS R3000 + floating point Co-Pro)

Coming soon is PowerPC and DEC Alpha. Taos estimates that new
processor ports can be done in six man-months.

Currently Tantric Technologies Co-operative Ltd. is selling Taos
developers kits that run on any PC with a 386SX processor and above for
$195 US. Tantric can be contacted at;

Exmoor House
Methuen Street
Inner Avenue
S014 6FQ
Phone: 0703 230340
Fax: 0703 230440
E'mail: tantric@cix.compulink.co.uk

NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with the above company(s). This is not an
advertisement. I just thought it might be useful info.

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