[TUHS] Resurrecting the B (which came before C) programming language

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe at math.utah.edu
Mon Jan 9 02:00:03 AEST 2017


I was amused this morning to see a post on the tack-devel at lists.sourceforge.net
mailing list (TACK = The Amsterdam Compiler Kit) today from David Given,
who writes:

>> ...
>> ... I took some time off from thinking about register allocation (ugh)
>> and ported the ABC B compiler to the ACK. It's now integrated into the
>> system and everything.
>> 
>> B is Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie's untyped programming language
>> which later acquired types and turned into K&R C. Everything's a machine
>> word, and pointers are *word* address, not byte addresses.
>> 
>> The port's a bit clunky and doesn't generate good code, but it works and
>> it passes its own tests. It runs on all supported backends. There's not
>> much standard library, though.
>> 
>> Example:
>> 
>> https://github.com/davidgiven/ack/blob/default/examples/hilo.b
>> 
>> (Also, in the process it found lots of bugs in the PowerPC mcg backend,
>> now fixed, as well as several subtle bugs in the PowerPC ncg backend; so
>> that's good. I'm pretty sure that this is the only B compiler for the
>> PowerPC in existence.)
>> ...

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