Friday, July 25, 2014

Progress Update


The compiler is now able to compile many ParaSail programs and most of the ParaSail Standard Library. It's probably easier to just list the things we know it can't do yet:

  • functions as parameters
  • functions with locked or queued parameters

Pretty small list, right! Well, to be honest, it's the list of known bugs. There are probably bugs we don't know about.

The most exciting thing about this is that the compiler itself uses neither of these features, so it's able to compile itself! The process is called bootstrapping. The executable it produces is able to compile other ParaSail programs.

Debugging Information

Over the past few weeks, we've spent a lot of time debugging compiled ParaSail programs. We're tired of stepping through assembly, and so, if given a "-g", the compiler will produce some debugging information usable by gdb. Right now it's only ParaSail source file line numbers and function names, but it's a start.

Syntax Highlighting on the Web with Pygments

Pygments is a generic syntax highlighter written in python. We've submitted a pull request to add a ParaSail highlighter and are awaiting a response from the maintainers.

Static Analysis

Next, we're going to spend more time on static analysis, especially checking for nullness of objects and recognizing unused variables.


We've been evaluating different alternatives for synchronization primitives in the ParaSail runtime and we've found that OpenMP performs the best when compared against Ada protected objects and our own library. Thus, we are moving our runtime system to OpenMP for the performance benefits and the fact that it's supported in both gcc and llvm.