[Mono-devel-list] Pascal compiler?

Grant Hess granthes at localaccess.com
Sun Mar 13 14:56:59 EST 2005

Other than the fact that I don't know what the Delphi.net extensions to 
the language spec are, I'd love to begin on this.  I've spent almost 10 
years working in Delphi (well, I did start with Turbo Pascal 8) ) and 
would love to see it available in an open platform.

Comments follow:

Willibald Krenn wrote:

> We have four possiblities as I see it:
>  1.> Implement from scratch with some compiler generator
This seems possible, but some Delphi features are more difficult to 
describe in a parser generator than just building directly in a 
recursive decent.

>  2.> Implement from scratch (based on the recursive descend parser from 
> above)
I have built (not production quality, unfortunately) several different 
rd parsers for pascal and variants over the years.  I agree it is a 
fairly simple process.  One thing that looks promising for this route is 
the fact that the object oriented design paradigm has matured greatly 
since the last time I tried this. (Or maybe I've just learned how to use 
it better? 8)  )

>  3.> Fork from Free Pascal Compiler
While I have nothing against the Free Pascal guys, I don't feel very 
confident in this path.  It seems like their compiler is trying to be 
compatible with every flavor of pascal out there and almost making it. 
I think that we would be better off in picking just one single 
(specific) language definition and working with it exclusively.  Perhaps 
we could expand compatibility to other flavors of pascal later, once we 
have an actual working implementation.

>  4.> Take (g)mcs and make it understand Delphi
I would love to be able to leverage all of the talent that has been used 
to make the mcs and gmcs compilers.  Even if we could merge a new parser 
onto the gmcs back-end it would simplify the task greatly.

Furthermore, the optimization work being done on the gmcs compiler is a 
great attention getter for me.
> 3.> has the nice benefit of the compiler being self-hosted (?) - I mean 
> the source of the compiler itself would be in Pascal and a good unit 
> test. Drawback: We need a Delphi.NET command line compiler for 
> bootstrapping during the first time (Perhaps there's some free community 
> version?) and we'll have to introduce significant modifications to the 
> FPC code base.
> 4.> Maybe some of the (g)mcs developers can help us out here, explaining 
> what would have to be done? But due to the differences between C# and 
> Delphi chances are good that we have to modify the used IR.
> BTW: Theoretically we could even mix languages ;-)
> I guess we agree on a managed implementation..
True, I think that managed is the better choice.
> Willi
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