gccint.info: Languages

Go forward to Source Tree
Go backward to Interface
Go up to Top
Go to the top op gccint

Language Front Ends in GCC

   The interface to front ends for languages in GCC, and in particular
the `tree' structure (*note Trees::), was initially designed for C, and
many aspects of it are still somewhat biased towards C and C-like
languages.  It is, however, reasonably well suited to other procedural
languages, and front ends for many such languages have been written for
   Writing a compiler as a front end for GCC, rather than compiling
directly to assembler or generating C code which is then compiled by
GCC, has several advantages:
   * GCC front ends benefit from the support for many different target
     machines already present in GCC.
   * GCC front ends benefit from all the optimizations in GCC.  Some of
     these, such as alias analysis, may work better when GCC is
     compiling directly from source code then when it is compiling from
     generated C code.
   * Better debugging information is generated when compiling directly
     from source code than when going via intermediate generated C code.
   Because of the advantages of writing a compiler as a GCC front end,
GCC front ends have also been created for languages very different from
those for which GCC was designed, such as the declarative
logic/functional language Mercury.  For these reasons, it may also be
useful to implement compilers created for specialized purposes (for
example, as part of a research project) as GCC front ends.