[cfe-dev] Status? Help Needed?

Chris Lattner clattner at apple.com
Sun Aug 19 14:40:59 PDT 2007

On Aug 17, 2007, at 10:35 PM, Ar18 at comcast.net wrote:
> Hello,
> Chris gave me a link to this project about the work on the c++  
> frontend for llvm.
> * I wonder if I could ask... what is the status of the c++ frontend?

C++ support is a very, very, early state.  It is basically C with  
bool, the C++ casts (static_cast etc), and some reference support.

> * Also, what might be a general idea for when it might near a  
> usable state (like less than 6 months, less than a year, less than  
> 5 years, or)?

Right now, we don't have anyone seriously working on it.  I'd guess  
2-3 years, but "sooner if we have help" :).  We hope to have C very  
solid over the next year.

> * At this point do you have any need for more programmers to help  
> out in a specific area?  If so, what areas specifically?

There are lots of areas we can use help on.  C is starting to get  
pretty solid when used at -fsyntax-only.  This means that it parses  
and typechecks most code, rejecting invalid things.  With C there are  
several areas we can use help with:

1. Testing to make sure we don't miss reporting some error conditions.
2. Compiling lots of C code and making sure -fsyntax-only accepts them.
3. Code generation (-emit-llvm) is still missing a lot.   
Contributions to help with this are certainly welcome.
4. Searching the codebase for FIXME's and fixing them :)

As far as C++ support goes, there is still a lot to do.  The  
aforementioned pieces that we do support are missing some pieces:  
notably code generation support.  Any help making these solid is  

> ----
> Some other info...
> I was first made aware of llvm on the Haiku OS forum; I was  
> inquiring about a non-GPL compiler. :)  So far this seems to be one  
> of the few, if not the only, project that actually seems like it  
> might achieve that goal.  Although my main interest was the  
> license, I'd also love to see something like this become a standard  
> for the Haiku OS....  For these reasons, I have quite a bit of  
> interest in seeing this project succeed.  Although, I obviously  
> understand very little about this stuff (which can probably annoy  
> you all) I still would like to offer to help if you ever were in  
> need of someone to do something on a non-coding level.  I doubt you  
> even want help in that area since it's preferable to only have  
> people involved who understand the compiler, but I just thought I'd  
> mention it anyways.

If you're interested in non-coding tasks, I'd suggest using it to  
compile lots of code (to find bugs), working on documentation,  
working on the web page (http://clang.llvm.org is pretty sad ;-),  
spreading the word to that might be interested, etc.


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