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intermediate representation


To the gcc maintainers: 
   
I have started developing an application that will take as input a code syntax tree that can then
be used for code browsing purposes.  The nature of the application ( which is detailed in the next
paragraph ) is such that it would be desirable to have gcc output the syntax tree generated in the
parsing pass to a file in a way similar to the way that debug dump files are generated for the
different compiler passes.  I have already written a few functions that convert the syntax tree
into both XML and binary format, but before i went any further with it i wanted to find out
weather or not any such functionality is planned to be included in future releases of gcc ( or
whether or not the code i am writing could be used for other projects, or has already been written
by someone else. )

The reason i want to be able to have gcc output the file ( and not write an application that
simply uses the gcc code for tree generation ) is as follows. Most of the code i have been doing
in the last few years has been on the windows platform. After encountering no small amount of blue
screens, unexplained reboots, and a plethora of other ever-increasing headaches,  i find myself
gravitating more and more towards using linux and other open source software. ( I hardly ever boot
up to windows at home any more. ) In the last couple of months i have begun delving into the
sources for gnome-ximian, anjuta and other such projects. I love studying code and finding out how
something is done , but i often find myself pouring through the makefiles, readme files and info
pages just to know where to start reading the code. So i started thinking that it would be useful
to have an application that took a make file, ran it with the appropriate installation and
configuration switches and ultimately output the overall program structure in a point and click
fashion ( in a way similar to the way that anjuta provides for it's projects. ) I would also want
code that created html browsing similar to the linux navigation project, and/or create hierarchy
charts, automatic documentation, etc.  I have found several apps that address the issue to some
extent, but nothing i have found has quite matched what i wanted, so i set out to write my own. 
Since gcc is the compiler normally used for all these projects, it would be very easy pass another
flag to it to output the syntax tree for all the translation units, then use this information to
create the desired output (be it the html code, class hierarchy, code translation, etc.)  

I hope not to have taken up too much of your valuable time, and i hope that my ideas are not to
crazy. I would greatly appreciate any direction or information you could give me with this issue,
and i would be more than willing to help in any projects that i might be of help. Thank you.


Felix Deschamps

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