[M3devel] switching to C backend?
jay.krell at cornell.edu
Sat Jul 18 11:02:03 CEST 2015
I disagree. The system is working. This isn't speculation.
Using his terminology
C pros: - written language (also a con) - longevity - does not drive me nuts - design is very mature - looks easy and is easy - huge portability of implementation - potential portability of object code - debugability with stock debuggers - large development teams ("back back end") - multiple industrial strength "back back ends" - likely similar compiled performance as anything else - probably similar compiled performance
C cons: - compiler performance - debuggability on platforms that have m3gdb support - cannot always efficiently express things portably, in particular, portable C has the same inefficient exception handling; we need to switch to C++ to fix it, or non-portable C on some platforms (i.e. win32 __try)
For garbage collection, I believe C, m3cc, and llvm are currently all equivalent and not good.
From: dmuysers at hotmail.com
To: jay.krell at cornell.edu; m3devel at elegosoft.com
Subject: Re: [M3devel] switching to C backend?
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2015 10:42:14 +0200
May I remind you Norman Ramsey’s opinion on the
Code generation is my business :-)
Comments on a few options:
Pro: industrial support
Con: you have to buy into their type system
pretty much completely; depending on what you want to do with types, this
may not matter
Con: Only Windows platform is really
Pro: enthusiastic user community with
Pro: many interesting performance
Con: somewhat complex interface
Con: history of holes in the engineering;
as LLVM matures expect the holes in the engineering to be plugged by adding
to the complexity of the interface
Pro: target is an actual written language,
not an API; you can easily inspect, debug, and edit your C-- code
Pro: design is reasonably mature and
Pro: supports accurate garbage
Pro: most users report it is very easy to
Con: very small development team
Con: as of early 2009, supports only three
hardware platforms (x86, PPC, ARM)
Con: does not ship with a garbage
Con: future of project is
C as target language
Pro: looks easy
Con: nearly impossible to get decent
Con: will drive you nuts in the long run;
ask the long line of people who have tried to compile Haskell, ML, Modula-3,
Scheme and more using this technique. At some point every one of these
people gave up and built their own native code
Summary: anything except C is a
reasonable choice. For the best combination of flexibility, quality, and
expected longevity, I'd probably recommend LLVM. But your example code is very
close to C--, so that may be an advantage.
Full disclosure: I am affiliated with the C--
From: Jay K
Sent: Saturday, July 18, 2015 10:27 AM
Subject: [M3devel] switching to C backend?
Any objection if I start switching targets to the C backend?
In particular, Darwin does not support m3gdb,
so debuggability is not a factor.
M3devel at elegosoft.com
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