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View of /sml/trunk/src/MLRISC/Doc/latex/contributions.tex

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Thu Jun 1 18:34:03 2000 UTC (19 years, 2 months ago) by monnier
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\section{Contributions}
    The optimizations provided by MLRISC are at a similar level to
    those performed by the Impact compiler; several target back ends
    exist (Dec Alpha, HPPA, Sparc, x86, and PPC); but more importantly, the
    framework has been demonstrated in \href{systems.html}{real use} 
    for languages with radically different execution models.  These include:
   
   \begin{center}
   \begin{tabular}{|c|c|} \hline 
       Compiler & Association \\ \hline
       \begin{color}{#005500}SML/NJ\end{color} & Bell Labs and Princeton\\\hline
       \begin{color}{#005500}TIL\end{color} & CMU \\ \hline
       \begin{color}{#005500}Tiger\end{color} &  Princeton \\ \hline
       \begin{color}{#005500}C--\end{color} & OGI \\ \hline
       \begin{color}{#005500}SML/Regions\end{color} & DIKU \\ \hline
       \begin{color}{#005500}Moby\end{color} &  Bell Labs \\ \hline
   \end{tabular}
   \end{center}
    
    The strength of MLRISC lies in the ability to easily create high
    quality code generator for each of these systems. For example:
    
   \begin{description} 
      \item[Tiger:] Has an execution
      model very similar to C with stack allocated activation frames,
      and also maintains static and dynamic chains to support lexical
      scoping.

      \item[TIL:] Is similar to C in its
      use of activation frames, however it uses a 
      \emph{typed intermediate language} that 
       supports \emph{almost tag-free}
      garbage collection.  This has severe implications on the
      interaction of spilling and garbage collection. The set of live
      variables and their locations, be it registers or frame slots,
      is recorded in a trace table for a specific program point. When
      spilling occurs, it is necessary to adjust some of these trace
      tables to reflect the new locations of live variables.

      \item[SML/NJ:] Has no runtime
      stack, but stores all execution context in a garbage collected
      heap. This arrangement imposes special requirements for spilling
      registers. SML/NJ also does \emph{dynamic linking} --- that is
      to say, no use is made of a conventional linker, but machine
      code is generated directly and linked into the interactive
      environment, dynamically.
 
      \item[C--:] Is a C-like portable assembly
      language used as an intermediate language for high level typed language,
      and provides direct compilation support for exceptions and 
      precise garbage collection.  In addition, it allows 
      interoperability with C function calls.  
\end{description}

  It is not uncommon for any of these systems to store special global
  values in dedicated registers, and use their own parameter passing
  and callee-save conventions. In any language that supports garbage
  collection, there are also the issues of generating gc type maps,
  and gc-safety in aggressive optimizations.  MLRISC deals with all these
  important issues by allowing customization of many aspects of the system.

root@smlnj-gforge.cs.uchicago.edu
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