[Mono-list] Gcc front-end?

Miguel de Icaza miguel@ximian.com
10 Jul 2001 19:47:44 -0400

(btw, I have updated the faq)

>   On the roadmap, it seems to imply that y'all are working on a
> completely new "JIT" compiler for the CLI.  I'm curious about why this
> is a better plan than writing a Gcc front-end for CLI bytecode.  

Actually, the CIL lends itself to pretty good optimization.  I have
been reading some papers that Paolo pointed me to on JIT code
generation and it not only looks like a lot of fun, but I also feel
more confident that we can outperform JITs like Kaffe.

> As soon
> as a Linux x86 "JIT" comes out, somebody's going to complain about the
> lack of optimizations, somebody else will bitch about not having a Linux
> Alpha port, and ten more users will want ports to Solaris and IA-64.  

Well, that is not only an extremely fun task (I would love to do them
all myself, but it might not be in our time line), but this is
precisely where Open Source development shines: ports ;-)

> At least, that's been my experience with OSS projects in the past ;)
> Some old posts from the Mercury folks implied that they were able to
> do the Mercury->gcc interface in under 8,000 LOC.

I would love if someone wants to write a C#->gcc front-end and a CIL
backend to GCC.  Ximian on the other hand is taking the easy road:
nice and simple C# compiler, and JIT engine.

If I had more resources at my disposal, I would look into more
projects.  But I want to focus on a concrete and deliverable set of

>   Also, am I correct in believing that CLI is designed for more of an
> Ahead-Of-Time compiler with local caching of native code?  That's what
> all the MS marketing-speak seemed to imply (no interepreter or
> mixed-mode).

You can do either one of them.