Re: symbol database for C++ compiler

"Joachim Durchholz" <>
25 Feb 2001 10:52:21 -0500

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symbol database for C++ compiler (khoury) (2001-02-23)
Re: symbol database for C++ compiler (Joachim Durchholz) (2001-02-25)
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Re: symbol database for C++ compiler (Benjamin Johnston) (2001-02-25)
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From: "Joachim Durchholz" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 25 Feb 2001 10:52:21 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 01-02-119
Keywords: C++, performance
Posted-Date: 25 Feb 2001 10:52:21 EST

khoury <> wrote:
> do you know about a c++ compiler that builds a database of all
> symbols *before* compiling time, such as it knows about all
> dependencies before to open all header files.

The MSVC++ compiler does something like this (it uses a "program
database"). However, this is generally difficult to do in C++:
changing a preprocessor symbol may change the syntax of large parts of
source, making it difficult for the compiler to decide what to
invalidate after a change. This means either more recompilation than
strictly necessary, or a large and complex (and thus more buggy)
dependency tracker. This works better for languages that don't have
preprocessors on the lexical level. For example, such databases are
common and much more useful in languages like Smalltalk (where the
source is stored in the database), Java (lots of IDEs with incremental
compilation), Eiffel (also incrementally compiling).


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