Fwd: is there any word processing software for the pdp11?

Peter Corlett abuse at cabal.org.uk
Fri Dec 5 08:43:18 CST 2014

On Thu, Dec 04, 2014 at 10:22:18PM -0500, Toby Thain wrote:
> On 04/12/14 7:06 PM, Peter Corlett wrote:
>> The PDP-11 ISA is sane enough that one could create a LLVM backend and
>> cross-compile to it using any of the LLVM-supported languages.  It'd be
>> quite
> Does LLVM actually scale down that far in practice? I know, from having done
> most of a PDP-11 back-end, that *lcc*, "a retargetable C compiler," doesn't,
> really, without modification.

While the main focus is x86 and ARM, it does indeed scale down to 8 and 16 bit
CPUs.  There is a port to Z80, for example.  6502 doesn't count as "sane
enough" (the ISA doesn't lend itself well to local variables on the stack) but
there are even people having a crack at that.

The real gotcha is that writing a backend involves a rather steep learning
curve.  I've done the research required to create a m68k backend -- I want to
generate Amiga binaries using the native calling conventions -- and it's still
rather intimidating.

>> Bonus points for running Java on it :)
> That isn't possible, the machine is far too small. Heck, this thread began
> with grave doubts that it can even run TeX.

There are small versions of Java intended for tiny CPUs.  No interesting Java
program would run on a PDP-11, but that's not really why one would do this :)

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