[LLVMdev] Removal of IA-64 target

Marcel Moolenaar xcllnt at mac.com
Fri Jul 17 09:53:01 PDT 2009

On Jul 16, 2009, at 10:22 PM, Chris Lattner wrote:

>> However, I do not want to go anywhere near trying to achieve optimal
>> code generation right now. Getting functional completeness is as high
>> as I dare to shoot. I presume that it'll be daunting enough.
> It depends a lot on your background, but yes it is a substantial
> amount of work.

Low-level compiler optimizer team for Itanium at HP.

I'm not on foreign soil so to speak, but there are a few reasons for
me not to call it home ground. I moved out of compilers entirely and
into operating systems (I seem to have a love-hate relationship with
compilers -- not good for a professional carrier :-) ...

> Being dead in-and-of-itself doesn't mean it shouldn't have an LLVM
> backend: for example, I consider Alpha more-dead than Itanium :).

I don't consider Itanium dead. I think it had to be positioned
for such a niche market (after failing miserably to be the
replacement of x86 as it was first envisioned to be), that it
has become mostly insignificant.

> However, maintaining an LLVM backend is a significant amount of work,
> and given that we've had an itanium backend since 2005 with no serious
> interest from developers-other-than-Duraid, I have a hard time
> believing that this will magically change in the near term.


There's nothing to contradict this statement. My words are just
that right now.

> At this point, I think we should remove the Itanium backend from
> mainline.  I would be thrilled if you would take it and fix it up and
> get it working out of tree.  If you get it working on significant
> programs (regardless of the performance of those programs) we'd
> definitely accept it back in tree at that point.  Does this seem
> reasonable to you?

It's virtually impossible to be unreasonable when it's being
discussed like this.

I few administrative questions come to mind. I'll ask them
here, but feel free to have me take it offline:

1.  Were you thinking about a LLVM (sub-)project for this, or
     do you want me to take it off-site?
2.  If off-site: would a LLVM/ia64 project on SF.net be acceptable
     or do you prefer something less public (protecting the LLVM
     "brand" comes to mind)?

I'll watch the commit logs and when I see ia64 being axed, I'll pick
the latest release (2.5 right now, but maybe 2.6) and use that as
the basis for the work.


Marcel Moolenaar
xcllnt at mac.com

More information about the llvm-dev mailing list