Proposal/question for GPC

scott andrew franco samiam at moorecad.com
Mon Nov 2 21:32:52 CET 2020


For the GPC authors
 
So this could be considered either a proposal or a question, your choice.
 
Recently, for various reasons I have been studying the LLVM project (mainly because I am
now forced to use LLVM on the Mac OS X). As I am sure you know, LLVM is becoming
popular as a backend. For example, I believe FPC now uses it.
 
An interesting thing about LLVM is that they bent over backwards to make sure it was as
compatible as possible with previous GCC methods, components and front-ends, with
an eye to making it easy to port existing front ends to LLVM.
 
So I think you can guess where I am going with this. The GPC group dropped the GPC
project mainly because GCC had changed and the requirements to meet the new
GCC backend were too large to meet for the GPC group (WRT: Quo vas GPC).
 
Might that have changed with the introduction of LLVM? It would seem that the GPC front
end would be a perfect match for LLVM, and the problems with upgrading to the current
GCC backend may be solved with using LLVM as backend?
 
I looked at porting one of my compilers to LLVM, and decided that it would be more of
a complete translation to meet the requirements of the LLVM intermediate format. Its a
good/very good IR, but it has its own ideas about stack framing, calling conventions,
etc. It would need a front end rewrite specifically to target that IR.
 
However, GPC, combined with the support LLVM provides for GCC legacy front ends,
might be a different story.
 
A discussion, perhaps?
 
Scott Franco.
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