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9.4.7 Extending the Compiler

At this point we take a detour from the impersonal tone of the rest of the manual. Admit it: if you’ve read this far into the compiler internals manual, you are a junkie. Perhaps a course at your university left you unsated, or perhaps you’ve always harbored a desire to hack the holy of computer science holies: a compiler. Well you’re in good company, and in a good position. Guile’s compiler needs your help.

There are many possible avenues for improving Guile’s compiler. Probably the most important improvement, speed-wise, will be some form of optimized ahead-of-time native compilation with global register allocation. A first pass could simply extend the compiler to also emit machine code in addition to bytecode, pre-filling the corresponding JIT data structures referenced by the instrument-entry bytecodes. See Instrumentation Instructions.

The compiler also needs help at the top end, enhancing the Scheme that it knows to also understand R7RS, and adding new high-level compilers. We have JavaScript and Emacs Lisp mostly complete, but they could use some love; Lua would be nice as well, but whatever language it is that strikes your fancy would be welcome too.

Compilers are for hacking, not for admiring or for complaining about. Get to it!