Summer 2017 GNU Toolchain Update

The GNU Toolchain is a collection of programming tools produced by the GNU Project. The tools are often packaged together due to their common use for developing software applications, operating systems, and low-level software for embedded systems.

This blog is part of a regular series covering the latest changes and improvements in the components that make up this Toolchain. Apart from the announcement of new releases, however, the features described here are at the bleeding edge of software development in the tools. This does mean that it may be a while before they make it into production releases, and they might not be fully functional yet. But anyone who is interested in experimenting with them can build their own copy of the Toolchain and then try them out.

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Spring 2017 GNU Toolchain Update

The GNU Toolchain is a collection of programming tools produced by the GNU Project. The tools are often packaged together due to their common use for developing software applications, operating systems, and low-level software for embedded systems.

This blog is part of a regular series covering the latest changes and improvements in the components that make up this Toolchain. Apart from the announcement of new releases, however, the features described here are at the bleeding edge of software development in the tools. This does mean that it may be a while before they make it into production releases, and they might not be fully functional yet. But anyone who is interested in experimenting with them can build their own copy of the Toolchain and then try them out.

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November 2016 GNU Toolchain Update

The GNU Toolchain is a collection of  programming tools produced by the GNU Project. The tools are often packaged together due to their common use for developing software applications, operating systems, and low level software for embedded systems.

This blog is part of a regular series covering the latest changes and improvements in the components that make up this Toolchain.  Apart from the announcement of new releases however, the features described here are at the very bleeding edge of software development in the tools.  This does mean that it may be a while before they make it into production releases, although interested parties can always build their own copies of the toolchain in order to try them out.

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C++ support in libcc1: A comprehensive update

GDB relies on libcc1‘s GCC and GDB plugins to implement the “compile code” feature, now extended to support the C++ language.

The Compile and Execute machinery enables GDB users to compile and execute code snippets within the context of an existing process. This allows users to perform inspection and modification of the program state using the target language well beyond the feature set historically exposed by symbolic debuggers. Almost anything that can be expressed in C, and now also in C++, can be compiled, loaded into the running program, and executed on the spot! It is envisioned that this machinery may also be used in the future to speed up conditional breakpoints, and as a foundation for more advanced features such as “Edit and Continue”.

The libcc1 module offers plugins for GDB and GCC that allow GDB to start GCC to compile a user-supplied code snippet. The plugins combine GDB and GCC into a single multi-process program. Through the plugins, GCC can query GDB about the meaning, in the target program, of names encountered in the snippet, and GDB can incrementally inform GCC about variables, functions, types and other constructs present in the program.

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April/May 2016 GNU Toolchain Update

Introduction

The GNU Toolchain is a collection of  programming tools produced by the GNU Project. The tools are often packaged together due to their common use for developing software applications, operating systems, and low level software for embedded systems.

This blog is part of a regular series covering the latest changes and improvements in the components that make up this Toolchain.  Apart from the announcement of new releases however, the features described here are at the very bleeding edge of software development in the tools.  This does mean that it may be a while before they make it into production releases, although interested parties can always build their own copies of the toolchain in order to try them out.

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February/March 2016 GNU Toolchain Update

Introduction

The GNU Toolchain is a collection of  programming tools produced by the GNU Project. The tools are often packaged together due to their common use for developing software applications, operating systems, and low level software for embedded systems.

This blog is part of a regular series covering the latest changes and improvements in the components that make up this Toolchain.  Apart from the announcement of new releases however, the features described here are at the very bleeding edge of software development in the tools.  This does mean that it may be a while before they make it into production releases, although interested parties can always build their own copies of the toolchain in order to try them out.

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December ’15/January ’16 GNU Toolchain Update

First of all I have an apology to make. I managed to reformat my hard drive over the holidays, wiping away all of my notes for this blog. In particular I was contacted by a reader about an enhancement to gcc’s inline assembler support which I have now totally lost. 🙁 So, dear reader, wherever you are, I apologise, and if you contact me again I will make sure that the extended asm enhancement gets mentioned in the next blog post.

The big news, for me at least, is that binutils 2.26 is now out.  This release contains lots of bug fixes of course, plus a few new features:

  • A new configure option:  –enable-compressed-debug-sections=[all,gas,gold,ld,none]
    This decides whether DWARF debug sections should be compressed by default. For now this option is off for all of the tools, although of course it can be enabled via a command line option.  In future releases of binutils however, the option will be enabled by default.
  • Support for the ARC EM/HS and ARC600/700 architectures.
  • Support for the LLVM plugin.
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