Subject: Re: Compiling fast on a VAX?
To: None <>
From: Lord Isildur <>
List: port-vax
Date: 09/24/2007 15:35:11
yummy, i'm going to have to play with this!
(been a long time since i've poked myhead above the surface here, 
greetings to everyone! good to see familiar faces (well, names) about!)

so i think about 5 years ago we had a thread about pcc versus gcc. pcc's
optimization is more or less nonexistent, so it produces slower code,
but on the other hand, pcc's libc is much simpler (and somewhat less safe
or correct, mind you) and so it can work out either way. We were comparing
old BSD and NetBSD systems. Stuff compiled against the old libc from 
CSRG-era bsd and pcc was noticeably faster if you did a lot of things like 
printf, but slower if you were pushing structs around in core and doing
thinsg that a good optimizer can get a lot smarter at (especially with
plenty of registers).
The big win was in the speed of compilation. I'm not sure how much of
the slowness of gcc is in the useful parts of optimization versus what 
parts are wasting our time.

I think at the time, we had also discussed the possibility of rolling back 
to an older version of gcc (the 2.low numbers)- the VAX optimizer is 
unlikely to have changed much in the past 15 years, so that part of gcc is
probably just about the same.. and most of the fancier stuff is 
inapplicable to vax anyway.

pcc, however, is amazingly fast for compiling..

I can make a 4000/600 with 192 megs of core available for testing.
( . it's already been used for some gcc/vax 
development some years back. currently running netbsd 2.0 but i could put
something newer on (from across the continent, i have a serial console!) 
it's still living on CMU's network.

good to see y'all again!
(no VAX party this year, though, as I just moved to Zurich, gave away all
my VAXen except a uv-III, and am presently in the Bay area for a couple of
months for work)

happy hacking,

On Fri, 21 Sep 2007, Dave McGuire wrote:

> On Sep 21, 2007, at 10:32 AM, David Brownlee wrote:
>> 	The answer to everyone's "gcc takes forever to compile"
>> 	prayers may be closed to being answered...
>> 	Ragge has rewritten the original PCC - the goal to be a
>> 	small, fast C99 compiler under a BSD licence.
>> 	Currently the x86 backend is getting all the focus, but
>> 	there is a prototype of a VAX backend which could do with
>> 	being updated by someone with the necessary time and fax-fu.
>> 	You can get it from, plus
>> 	a copy is in NetBSD-current.
>> 	So... anyone up to the challenge?
> This is an intriguing project, and it pleases me bigtime to see it 
> happening.  I'm not much of a compiler internals guy, but I'd love to do some 
> testing and code generation comparisons.
>           -Dave
> -- 
> Dave McGuire
> Port Charlotte, FL
> Farewell Ophelia, 9/22/1991 - 7/25/2007