[Beowulf] A start in Parallel Programming?

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Fri Mar 16 07:19:31 PDT 2007

I've spent too much time caring about no compiler but the C compiler, so
I've learned something. Apparently they've split compilers into front-ends
(which parse languages), middleware (that does some of the optimization that
isn't either language dependent or processor dependent) and a backend (which
generates the machine code for the target processor). I had always thought
of C as the target of the front end so I snickered at the acronym "Gnu
Compiler Collection", but really I wasn't paying attention.

On 3/16/07, Greg Lindahl <greg.lindahl at qlogic.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 02:14:06PM -0500, Peter St. John wrote:
> > I'd be optimistic for the process of translating F to C, followed by
> > compiling the C, to be as effecient as the process of compiling C into
> > assembler, followed by assmbling into executable.
> I'm not optimistic. The process destroys info. It's not that Fortran
> compilers are better at optimizing... most Fortran compilers are also
> C compilers. It's that Fortran as a language is easier to optimize,
> and Fortran programmers tend to write easier to optimize programs
> (more arrays, less pointers.)
> When you translate to C, automatic or not, you usually lose both
> properties.
> -- greg
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