[Mono-list] GCC front-end for CIL

Paul Skinner Paul.Skinner at uec.co.za
Mon Jul 16 04:54:09 EDT 2007

Hi Guys,

Let me briefly explain our planned architecture... We wish to write cross platform code that will work on both PCs and embedded devices. Our research leads us to think that the best solution would be to create .NET applications (in CIL) and then use Cecil to create a front-end for the embedded device's GCC based compiler.

Our constraints include:

 *   We cannot re-compile the GCC based compiler. We must support devices that may only work with future releases of the compiler.
 *   The embedded environment cannot run .net code. There is simply a lack of physical memory.

We have considered:

 *   Converting the CIL to the assembler code for the device (as generated by gcc -S) and then compiling that. This is less than ideal as we have no guarantees that the "virtual" assembler code will remain the same between releases.

So far, we have determined that using Cecil to generate C code, which is compiled by the GCC based compiler is the best option.

So, my questions include

 *   Is there a better technique for generating native code (given our constraints)?
 *   Are there other open source tools (other than Cecil) that we should be investigating?
 *   Are there any sections of the Mono source that could be especially useful to us?
 *   Has anyone done similar work?

Paul Skinner
Software Engineer

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