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Re: Incremental gcc

On Mar 25, 2006, at 9:14 PM, Camm Maguire wrote:
Greetings! GCL is a lisp compiler system which outputs C code normally
compiled by gcc into an object, which is then loaded and relocated
into the running GCL image.  In lisp, compiling is a very incremental
process, with many, often thousands of small functions compiled one at
a time.  GCL/gcc compilation speed would be greatly improved if gcc
could be run in some sort of incremental mode

Ignoring an ideal world for a second, if you have large amounts of headers that are stable that are needed for compilation, be sure to precompile them. After that, batch up all code to be compiled into larger unit and compile it all in one go, as it saves a substantial amount of time (2x faster maybe), this way startup costs are amortized.

Longer term, it would be nice to have someone from your camp layout where the time is spent and what changes might be worth while in gcc to make it more suitable for that type of work.

You can run the compiler via stdin and stdout:

$ gcc -x c - -o - -S
int i;
main() { }
^D .section __TEXT,__text,regular,pure_instructions
.section __TEXT,__picsymbolstub1,symbol_stubs,pure_instructions,32
.machine ppc
.align 2
.globl _main
stmw r30,-8(r1)
stwu r1,-48(r1)
mr r30,r1
lwz r1,0(r1)
lmw r30,-8(r1)
.comm _i,4

if you want, so that isn't very hard to do. The sub-problem of an as that can operate this way is off-topic for this list, so I won't address it.

Long term, might be nice to have a way to wire in the assemblers into gcc directly. If you guys feel ambitious, that might be doable; but since gc is driven by people that want to code, you'll have to find someone that wants to code it up. The java folks might be interested in JITifying the compiler as well, if enough people are interested in doing that, it might be an interesting direction to take gcc, though building in as strikes me as a prerequisite.

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