Microsoft Continues To Be Interested In The Clang Compiler
Written by Michael Larabel in Microsoft on 25 September 2015 at 08:58 AM EDT. 22 Comments
This year has been interesting watching Microsoft from the Linux/open-source world for several reasons, among them has been for their growing adoption of LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler.

We've seen Microsoft work on improving Clang for Windows and utilizes Clang in Visual Studio 2015 for targeting Linux and mobile builds, including iOS support. However, it doesn't appear that Microsoft's interest in Clang is letting up at all.

An MSDN blog post this morning is about rejuvenating Microsoft's C/C++ compiler and at the end it reads, "We will continue to invest in improving our compiler with a goal towards making it fully standards compliant. That said, we are also very interested in improving our support for Clang as well. In fact, there is a presentation at CppCon on using the Clang front-end with our code generator and optimizer."

Indeed on the CppCon schedule is a talk about tieing the Clang open-source front-end with Microsoft's optimizing back-ends. It does seem Microsoft is committed to this and they'll be making it available to the public at some point, "The talk will disclose the architecture of how we tied the CLANG open source front end with the Microsoft optimizing backends (several configurations are needed) and how far we are from providing a CTP for public consumption targeting 4 different architectures. Included in this section will be a disclosure of data on compile time, memory consumption, conformance and correctness."

This new Microsoft project is sort of like an upside-down DragonEgg -- the (now defunct) LLVM sub-project that is a GCC plug-in to use GCC's front-end but with LLVM's optimizers and code generators. Instead with the Microsoft way, they'd be using Clang as the front-end for handling all the latest C and C++ standards while then shoving it through Microsoft's proprietary compiler stack.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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