Generating C or ASM ?

Tue, 8 Nov 1994 01:44:26 GMT

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Generating C or ASM ? guerin@IRO.UMontreal.CA (1994-11-08)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: guerin@IRO.UMontreal.CA
Keywords: C, assembler, question
Organization: Universite de Montreal
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 1994 01:44:26 GMT

Q: The title say it all, is it better to use C or assembler as a the target
language of a compiler ?

Many recent languages, among other Modula 3, Eiffel, Sather, use C as
the target language. This ensure wide portability, and a somewhat
optimized code, without great effort ( on this part of the compiler )
But of course, C is not as fine-granulated as assembler is, and some
expressive power is lost.

Q: What kind of expressive power is generally missed when using C instead
of ASM ( apart parallellism ) ? Is this meaningful ?

But some people may argue that the common denominator of every general
purpose CPU *is* essentially the C language as a portable assembler, and
hence a general purpose language compiler does not gain anything but
complexity when targetting assembler.

Q: Can C be considered this common denominator, especially given that CPU
builders are reluctant to introduce features that won't be handled
nicely by C ?

Thanks in advance,

Frederic Guerin
Phd student, universite de Montreal

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