We used to run the standard compiler from NetBSD:
not standard C++ (e.g., we used to include ‘<iostream.h>’, we could
use members of the
std name space unqualified etc.). In
addition, we were using
hash_map which is an SGI
extension that is not available in standard C++. It was therefore
decided to upgrade the compiler in 2003, and to upgrade the programming
During the first edition of the Tiger Compiler project, students had to write their own Makefiles — after all, knowing Make is considered mandatory for an Epitean. This had the most dramatic effects, with a wide range of creative and imaginative ways to have your project fail; for instance:
alltarget as first running
cleanand then the actual build.
As a result Akim grew tired of fixing the tarballs, and in order to have a robust, efficient (albeit some piece of pain in the neck sometimes) distribution 2 we moved to using Automake, and hence Autoconf.
There are reasons not to be happy with it, agreed. But there are many more reasons to be sad without it. So Autoconf and Automake are here to stay.
Note, however, that you are free to use another system if you wish. Just obey the standard package interface (see Submission).
SemantVisitoris a nightmare to maintain
SemantVisitor, which performs both the type checking and the
translation to intermediate code, was near to impossible to deliver in
pieces to the students: because type checking and translation were so
much intertwined, it was not possible to deliver as a first step the
type checking machinery template, and then the translation pieces.
Students had to fight with non applicable patches. This was fixed in
Tiger 2003 by splitting the
TranslationVisitor. The negative impact,
of course, is a performance loss.
Seeing every single group for each compiler stage is a nightmare. Sometimes Akim was not enough aware.
See the shift of language? From tarball to distribution.