[TUHS] DEC Compilers (was: Re: SDB debugger

Henry Bent henry.r.bent at gmail.com
Wed May 6 07:49:11 AEST 2020

On Mon, 4 May 2020 at 20:33, Win Treese <treese at acm.org> wrote:

> > On May 3, 2020, at 4:26 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> >
> > Anyway back to compilers, Tru64 had a 'good enough' compiler based on
> the MIPS code base to get us all going, but GEM's primary target was VMS
> since one of the important features of GEM was the VAX->Alpha transpiler
> technology.   VMS was still heavily written in VAX Assembler at the time.
> Plus, It actually was a little hairy because GEM had a new C/C++
> front-end.   So TLE's high order bit was VMS for the Alphas.   GEM for
> Tru64 was about 18 months later.
> In the early days of Alpha, I was at DEC’s Cambridge Research Laboratory
> (directed then by Vic Vyssotsky, having retired from Bell Labs). The lab
> had various connections to Alpha projects, and we learned that there were
> (I think) 7 different C compilers running on the early port of Ultrix. That
> number, I think, did not include the port of gcc that DEC was funding
> outside the company.
> Andy Payne, a recent hire at the lab, had been an intern in DEC’s
> semiconductor group, where he had worked on randomized testing for hardware
> verification. With all the compilers available, he decided to hack up a
> program to generate random small C programs with computable expected
> outputs. His program then compiled the random code with each compiler and
> tested the result. After finding a number of bugs this way, he got tired of
> submitting the bug reports, and changed his program to write and submit the
> bug reports automatically.
> This caused a little bit of consternation with some of the compiler teams
> at first.
> Eventually, this led to some collaboration with the DEC languages and
> tools team, and Bill McKeeman published a paper that line of work in the
> Digital Technical Journal in 1998[1].
>  - Win
> [1] https://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/dtj/vol10num1/vol10num1art9.pdf

Does this software still exist anywhere?  The link to the download is long
gone, archive.org did not preserve the download, and I had no success
finding the files on the web.

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