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Re: How can I get started as a GCC developer


On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 3:30 AM, Anonymous User
<user4294967291@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I'd like to help with the modularization of GCC.
>
> I've visited the getting started page at the official wiki but its contents
> seem too old. I'm fairly new to GCC and and I'm bewildered by its huge code
> base with lengthy and complicated makefiles and sophisticated internal
> mechanisms. I don't know how to figure out the exact process GCC is built
> and feel incompetent to make changes to existing code for fear of breaking
> the underlying mechanisms. Also, it seems to me that the documentation on
> GCC internals at the official wiki and various resources the wiki points to
> are not enough to help a newcomer to make significant contribution, since
> they are largely incomplete and outdated.
>
> However, I do have rudimentary knowledge about the structure of the code
> base and have successfully built a frontend that merely emits a main
> function that returns 0 for GCC 4.9.0. But I have no idea how I can make
> further progress other than by aimlessly browsing through the source code.
>
> So how can I gain a systematic understanding of the internals of GCC in
> order to get started with some serious work?

It's a good question.  You're quite right that the documentation tends
to be outdated and incomplete.  That suggests one easy way to
contribute: make the documentation better.  Unfortunately, apart from
that, it's hard to know how to answer your question.  It's possible to
answer a specific questions ("how does X work?").  It's hard to answer
a general question ("how does everything work?").

Ian


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