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Re: Problem with GCC as a Scheme compiler: tail calls

From: Andy Wingo
Subject: Re: Problem with GCC as a Scheme compiler: tail calls
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 00:31:51 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.2 (gnu/linux)

On Thu 07 Apr 2011 16:37, Noah Lavine <address@hidden> writes:

> So I guess the question is, is it worthwhile for us to fix GCC so it
> can handle tail calls, or should we use another code generation
> library that already deals with them? I must admit I still really like
> the idea of using GCC, because it has a lot of good optimizations, and
> I also like the idea of working with other groups rather than making
> yet another compiler. However, I guess the next thing to do is to ask
> on the GCC mailing list if they're interested in tail call patches,
> and how hard those would be to make.

Regarding GCC, I have spoken to GCC folk, and they are not averse to
making GCC into a more modular thing.  There are obvious licensing
concerns, but these are surmountable: Guile and GCC could work together
somehow.  The problem, as I understood it last year, was that GCC
doesn't know exactly what abstractions are necessary.  For that we need
to get our own house in order, write an AOT compiler for one
architecture, then go to GCC and say "it would be nice if we had these
features", or something like that.

People's experiences with LLVM are probably helping here, to define the
problem space, but we need something simple to push to GCC folk, like a
simple less-than-Scheme implementation with only fixnum arithmetic or
something, both AOT and with a REPL.

Dunno.  Thoughts in the ether!


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