A Python Front-End To GCC Is Brewing This Summer
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 30 June 2011 at 07:29 AM EDT. 8 Comments
It turns out there's another fairly interesting Google Summer of Code project being worked on this summer beyond the exciting projects and the Mesa/X/Wayland projects that have piqued our interest this year. This project was somehow skipped past when looking at the GSoC information before, but it's a continued effort (by the same student last year) to write a Python front-end to GCC.

Philip Herron is this two-year GSoC student and he's working on Gccpy, which is an effort to write a Python front-end to GCC. From his GSoC project page, "An overview of what the project aims to achieve is creating an AOT compiled version of Python using GCC as a framework for middle-end, back-end optimization as-well as portable code-generation. Creating AOT languages has been generally aimed for more 'low-level' languages such as C/C++/Fortran where the language requires strong typing and other kinds declarative features; which gives rise to much less dynamic features which languages like Python/PHP/Perl take for granted." The project came to my attention when today he created this GCC mailing list thread.

Philip was inspired by PHC, a PHP compiler that leverages the GNU Compiler Collection (see the PHC project web-site). PHC isn't too actively maintained today, but in a similar manner, Facebook has the HipHop compiler for converting PHP source-code into highly-optimized C++ that's then built by GCC. In a competing manner, Roadsend PHP is a now-defunct project to do the same, but to use LLVM (the Low-Level Virtual Machine) rather than GCC.

For those more interested in the Python front-end to GCC project, the student developer has a blog where he is writing about his project on this endeavor.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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