This workshop is a 5-day instructional workshop (and not a forum for contributed presentations) and involves lectures and laboratory exercises aimed at providing details of the internals of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection).

Workshop: June 29 - July 03, 2013   

Slides: 29 June
Schedule: 21 June
Selected Candidates: 10 June
Registration closed: 10 June
What's New?: 14 May

(Participants will be awarded a
certificate under the continuing
education programme
of IITB)

GCC is the de-facto standard compiler generation framework on GNU/Linux and many variants of Unix. In the last 25 years of its existence, it has seen a rapid growth and wide acceptability.

What is GCC?

GCC, an acronym for GNU Compiler Collection, is a compiler generation framework which generates production quality optimizing compilers from descriptions of target platforms. It follows an open development model whereby its source is available for all for inspection and modification. It supports a wide variety of source languages and target machines (including operating system specific variants) in a ready-to-deploy form. Besides, new machines can be added by describing instruction set architectures and some other information (eg. calling conventions).

Novices may want to see the  Wikipedia introduction to GCC. For experts, the GCC page contains a wealth of information including installation instructions, reference manuals (which include users' guides as well as details of GCC internals), a set of frequently asked questions, a wiki page for the developers of GCC, additional reading material, and several mailing lists for more detailed issues and queries. An excellent description of GCC internals can also be found on Wikipedia.

GCC celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012

Youtube link to 1989 - 2012 Development History of GCC.

From the release announcement:

"When Richard Stallman announced the first public release of GCC in 1987, few could have imagined the broad impact that it has had. It has prototyped many language features that later were adopted as part of their respective standards — everything from "long long" type to transactional memory. It deployed an architecture-neutral automatic vectorization facility, OpenMP, and Polyhedral loop nest optimization. It has provided the toolchain infrastructure for the GNU/Linux ecosystem used everywhere from Google and Facebook to financial markets and stock exchanges. We salute and thank the hundreds of developers who have contributed over the years to make GCC one of the most long-lasting and successful free software projects in the history of this industry."

Our contribution to the GCC community

We have been using our training program called "Essential Abstractions in GCC", since 2007 (and have been incrementally refining it continuously). Our experience has been that it has brought down the ramp up period of novices to a couple of weeks.

  • The main official gcc page recognizes our influence in the GCC movement in their news section under GCC internals documentation [2013-01-23].
  • The official GCC GettingStarted web page lists down our material as the main courseware on learning GCC internals under Tutorials, HOWTOs.

Who should attend this workshop?

Anybody who has done at least a first level undergraduate course in compiler construction and has some experience of either working in compilers or teaching compilers. A sound understanding of the process of compilation is a must. Familiarity with Unix/Linux (particularly, the command line style of working) is absolutely necessary. We have identified some homework exercises to be done before the participants arrive for the workshop.

Take-aways from the workshop

After attending this workshop

  • A teacher of compiler construction will be able to take examples of real compilation processes to illustrate the difference phases of compilation
  • A compiler developer wanting to retarget GCC to a new machine will know how to write machine descriptions systematically
  • A researcher exploring machine independent optimizations will be able to add data flow analysis based optimization passes to GCC
  • A researcher exploring retargetable compilation will be exposed to real issues in an industry strength compiler
  • A software engineer will be exposed to the architecture of a very large and very successful software
  • Successful completion of assignments in the workshop qualifies a participant for receiving a certificate under the Continuing Education Programme of IIT Bombay.

Structure of the workshop

This is a 5 day workshop from June 29, 2013 to July 3, 2013 – four days of lectures and labs with an additional half day of lab for interested participants. In other words, the participants can leave after the fourth day.

Here is a conceptual structure of the coverage and a detailed workshop schedule.

What is new in this workshop?

  • Extra time and Teaching Assistant support for laboratory assignments.
  • Material updated to GCC-4.7.2 which is now compiled using C++.
  • Translation of C++ programs.
  • Reorganization of material based on experiences in the past workshops.