Help available for direct manipulation of machine code (Norman Ramsey)
Tue, 20 Dec 1994 18:36:10 GMT

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Help available for direct manipulation of machine code (1994-12-20)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Norman Ramsey)
Keywords: code, tools, available
Organization: Bellcore
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 1994 18:36:10 GMT

There has been some discussion recently about getting compilers to
emit object code instead of assembly language. The ``New Jersey
Machine-Code Toolkit'' helps with this and related problems, making it
easy to emit and recognize machine instructions in binary form. (It
doesn't help much with the rest of the object file.)

Applications that use the toolkit are written at an assembly-language
level of abstraction, but they recognize and emit binary. Guided by a
short instruction-set specification, the toolkit generates all the
bit-manipulating code. We've written specifications for the MIPS
R3000, SPARC, and Intel 486.

We have written two applications: a retargetable debugger and a
retargetable, optimizing linker. The toolkit generates efficient
code; for example, the linker emits binary up to 15% faster than it
emits assembly language, making it 1.7--2 times faster to produce an
a.out directly than by using the assembler.

More information, the software, and annotated machine descriptions,
can be found on the Web at URL
Those without http access can ftp it all from
A paper about the toolkit will appear in the 1995 Winter USENIX Conference.

Norman Ramsey Bell Communications Research
Mary Fernandez Princeton University

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