Programming language failings [was Re: strangest systems I've sent email from]

Chris Hanson cmhanson at
Sat Apr 30 17:08:04 CDT 2016

On Apr 30, 2016, at 2:07 PM, Mouse <mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG> wrote:
> Reading this really gives me the impression that it's time to fork C.
> There seems to me to be a need for two different languages, which I
> might slightly inaccurately call the one C used to be and the one it
> has become (and is becoming).
> The first is the "high-level assembly" language, the one that's
> suitable for things like embedded programming in what C99 calls a
> standalone environment, kernel and low-level library implementations,
> and the like, where you want to do whatever's reasonable from the point
> of view of someone who knows the target machine architecture, even if
> it's formally undefined by the language.
> The second is more the language the author of those posts is talking
> about, where the compiler is allowed to do surprising things for the
> sake of performance.

The author of those posts is the creator and lead developer of LLVM, clang, and Swift, and I think he would argue that the second case is also best served by the compiler in the first case, because you absolutely want the best performance and code size possible.

I'll note too that people are working in progressively more back ends for LLVM & clang for embedded uses.

  -- Chris

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