[Mono-dev] C# source-to-source compiler

jan jan jve7gm at gmail.com
Thu Nov 4 05:47:59 EDT 2010

Hi Mark,

This is interesting - I refer to these as 4GL's - in a nutshell, a compiler
that generates code for another compiler, google it if u want; what I do
find odd is the need for it as lots of ground breaking work went into the C#
specification it's really as simple as you can get. Problem with them in the
long run of history is they tend to assume and follow best-practice patterns
which is not always suitable and lead to performance issues later on.

You're better off writing your own parser/generator/plugins for whatever
you're planning here. If you do have unique fundamental ideas for the
language talk to the specification teams to see if they can include it in
future; in knowing C# I can't possibly think of something at this time!

Perhaps a plugin infrastructure for the C# compiler itself is not a bad
idea? - Anyone? Why do IDE's have them but compiler's don't ? Geez ... and
don't say we didn't think of it!!!


On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM, Andreas Nahr <
ClassDevelopment at a-softtech.com> wrote:

> Hi Mark,
> either I'm misunderstanding your idea or you are misunderstanding some of
> the .Net architecture.
> 1) C# has no own runtime library, it is practically a runtime-library-free
> implementation on top of the CLR base class libraries/VM.
> 2) I don't understand why you ever wanted to change the virtual machine in
> your situation. IF the runtime support you need can even be expressed in C#
> code (and that's what I'm understanding from your post) then there is
> surely
> no need to modify the VM at all.
> The next question is why you want a source-to-source compiler. It is the
> usual and good practice to compile source to IL and I don't see any reason
> why you shouldn't.
> If you want to be your language an extention of C# why not just take one
> existing C# Compiler (e.g. dmcs) and add the constructs you need?
> Happy hacking
> Andreas
> > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> > Von: mono-devel-list-bounces at lists.ximian.com [mailto:mono-devel-list-
> > bounces at lists.ximian.com] Im Auftrag von Mark Farnell
> > Gesendet: Donnerstag, 4. November 2010 05:54
> > An: mono-devel-list at lists.ximian.com
> > Betreff: [Mono-dev] C# source-to-source compiler
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > I plan to design a language based on an extention of C#, and I would
> > like to use the mono compiler and abstract syntax tree.
> >
> > The language extension would require some runtime feature, which can
> > be implemented by:
> >
> > - modifying the virtual machine, or
> > - C# runtime library
> >
> > In the former case, it can be time consuming for me to navigate
> > through the virtual machine.
> >
> > In the latter case, I would need a source to source compiler reading
> > code written for the extended language and output pure C# code that
> > links to my runtime library.
> >
> > For the latter option, I would like to modify the dmcs compiler to
> > read the code written in the extended language and output pure C# code
> > (rather than CIL bytecde).
> >
> > Is this possible?  Are there other better ways?
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > Mark
> > _______________________________________________
> > Mono-devel-list mailing list
> > Mono-devel-list at lists.ximian.com
> > http://lists.ximian.com/mailman/listinfo/mono-devel-list
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