[LLVMdev] Your question about LLVM

Joachim Durchholz jo at durchholz.org
Sat Oct 8 00:24:16 PDT 2011

Am 07.10.2011 19:28, schrieb Dan Gohman:
> Translating from Java to LLVM IR and then back to Java would
> probably not be very practical.

That's not what I'm aiming for. I want

   MyHLL -> MyCompiler -> MyIR1 -> MyTransformer -> MyIR2 -> Backend

Where "Backend" could be a code generator for the JVM, CLR, or something 
It would be nice if I could have

   ... -> MyIR2 -> LLVM -> JVM/CLR/native

since that would take some passes out of MyTransformer. I'm not sure how 
useful LLVM would be in such a scenario.
Essentially, my question is how much I can leverage out of LLVM (with 
the usual caveats, of course - being more like Haskell than C++, I guess 
LLVM isn't built for that, but it might still be worth it).

> If you're a "Java-based language designer" to begin with, and you
> want to run your programs in the JVM, it's probably best to just
> stick with Java the whole way.

I'm "Java-based" only in terms of tooling. Eclipse is just a ready-made 
framework that many people know and has a lots of ready-made facilities 
that I don't need to build on my own: syntax-aware editor, 
cross-referencing, debugging.
Actually, the JVM has some limitations that make it less well-suited 
than I'd like, but tooling trumps that.
In that scenario, a JVM backend for LLVM would be helpful - assuming 
LLVM can do anything helpful in that situation. (It's just occurring to 
me that code reordering might make LLVM-generated JVM bytecode harder to 


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