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Category: Learning

Compilers 109 – Linking and Wrap-up

The linker is not technically part of the compiler, but it is needed to make a completed app. The purpose of the linker is to combine (link) all the various bits and pieces of machine code created by the compiler along with the necessary information to create a runnable app for the OS.

This is the ninth and final post in our Compiler series. Previous posts:

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Compilers 108 – Code Generation

Code generation is one of the last steps of the compiler. This is where the compiler emits actual machine code for the IR that was previously created.

This is the eighth post in our Compiler series. Other posts:

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Casting, get ready and keep the Type!

Object Oriented Programming (OOP) puts in our hands the ability to create apps in a flexible and powerful way. Xojo embraces that philosophy in the Xojo language itself, allowing us to implement code in a flexible way for reuse, extension and maintainability that reduces the development cycles. One of these language tools is, in fact, common in other low level programming languages: Casting or type conversion. If you are interested in this (and you should be), continue reading and discover what it is, why you should be interested in it and how can you use it in your next Xojo app!

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Compilers 107 – Optimizer Loop Unrolling

The last post covered optimization in general. In this post you’ll look at a specific optimization called “loop unrolling”.

This is the seventh post in our Compiler series. Other posts:

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Unlock the all in one, low-code, cross-platform solution

Like his father, my teenage son loves video games. The single player games where you take a character through some kind of adventure are the ones I like most. These usually have a fair number of AI-controlled enemies that must be defeated. My son, on the other hand, prefers to play against other human beings. When I asked him why, he said, “The AIs are so predictable.” To prove this to me, he took over when I was having trouble defeating a particularly difficult enemy and quickly dispatched him, narrating his strategy as he went and barely being scratched in the process. My son is an elite player compared to me partially because he puts a lot more time into it than I do but also because he loves video games far more than I do.

Just as people have varying levels of skill and interest in video games, the same is true of app development. There are those that are happy to devote enormous amounts of time to learning everything they possibly can. They don’t care how long it takes. They want to have control over everything and are willing to do whatever is necessary to make that happen. I’m so glad those people exist because there’s a lot of great software that might not otherwise have been created without them. I’m not one of those people. I really want to focus mostly on what makes my application unique, abstracted from the nitty-gritty of app development.

That’s why I have always been attracted to tools like Xojo. I am a citizen developer. Of all the job titles I have had over the years, all of them in tech,  none have ever included words like programmer or engineer. I do some software development but it’s just a part of my job. It’s something I do to help me in my work or to help my co-workers.

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PDF File Generation? There is an API for that!

I’ve heard it several times: how can I export to PDF from Xojo? Sure, there are lots of answers pointing to a bunch of resources, including excellent plug-ins from third parties. But can you accomplish the same thing using an already available API? Yes, there is a remote API for that! The requirement is that your Xojo app will need to have access to Internet … and, of course, you’ll need to do just a bit of coding.

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Compilers 106 – Optimizer

An optimizer “improves” the IR, but that can mean a lot of different things. Improve could mean “run faster” or “use less memory”. Or perhaps you want to optimize for memory access time because CPUs are so fast it is sometimes more efficient to repeatedly calculate something rather than calculate it once, store it and access it later.

This is the sixth post in our Compiler series. Previous posts:

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