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pl1gcc newsMay 5th, 2006


This is the eleventh code drop of the GCC front-end for the PL/I programming language.

PL/I for GCC is released under the terms of the GNU Public License; version 2.

Version 0.0.11, includes a new infrastructure for the PL/I preprocessor.

It has been more than a year since the previous release of pl1gcc, but development has picked up again, so expect releases to happen more frequently. And remember you are always welcome to join the project, we need really help at all levels of development.

The v0.0.11 release marks another important step forward towards a fully functioning PL/I compiler: the preprocessor. The current implementation supports just a few statements, but thanks to the tools flex and bison, it is straight forward to add the missing preprocessor statements. Expect a few new ones to be added with each new release, just like the PL/I parser has been developed.

Currently there is still no codegeneration taking place, so don't run out and uninstall your production PL/I compiler, just yet :-)
But read ahead for some good news.

It would still be a great help for us if you try the compiler on some of your own source code, or if you could construct a PL/I program that really tests the corners of the grammar. Basically a program that does all what the syntax allows. As inspiration, have a look at the test program written by Paul Karagianis
but I am sure you can create a much worse PL/I program, which we would like to see. And if you release it under GPL it can be added to the pl1gcc hall of fame, so just go ahead and do the coding.

Please inform us about any syntax errors that might occur so we can check if the error is in the pl1gcc parser, and not in your code.

Changes in v0.0.11:

  • New preprocessor infrastructure using bison and flex.
  • Added new compiler option -pp-only: preprocessor scanning only.
  • Added installation instructions when using Eclipse as development platform.
  • Added better windows/Cygwin installation instructions, thanks to John Wood.
  • Refactoring of code to make the code more modular.
  • Synchronized with gcc version 4.2

Changed syntax in v0.0.11:

  • Allow DECLARE statements to be empty.
  • Allow scale for datatype COMPLEX.
  • Some ENVIRONMENT elements can have a variable as parameter.
  • Allow subscripts and initial on ALLOCATE statement.
  • Allow B1 for bit constants
  • %REPLACE varname BY value
  • %INCLUDE filename
  • %INCLUDE environmentvariable ( filename )

For a complete changelog look in the README file.

What is pl1gcc ?

The pl1gcc project is an attempt to create a native PL/I compiler using the GNU Compiler Collection.
The project is looking for more people to join the development and testing. If you want to help speed up the development of a free PL/I compiler please do contact us and join the fun.

Looking ahead

Since two exciting code donations has been done, real code generation is just within reach.
A big thank to Patrick and Hugh for releasing their hard work under the GPL license for all of us to look at.
The contributions are:

If you happend to have some PL/I code lying around and you don't know what on earth name you should do with it. Consider releasing it under the terms of GPLv2, and send it to the pl1gcc project. We will be happy to host the source code for you. Who knows, it might even be possible to see that old code live again once code generation takes place.
For releasing your code under the GPL license look at
for the exact details.

If you do try the compiler on some of your own code, please let us know how it goes.

Further, if you know of a PL/I project you would like to see supported by the pl1gcc effort, please get in touch with us. The code does not have to be covered by GPL.

And finally remember to have some fun


Download newest version via these links

  • GCC version 4.2 (36Mb)

  • PL/I front-end (170Kb)
  • Thank you so much for visiting the pl1gcc homepages. If you do try to download and build the PL/I front end, please let us know how it goes by dropping us a line. Mail pl1gcc

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    Previous releases

  • (May 2006)
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  • (July 2004)
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  • © 2002-2006, Henrik Sorensen.
    Last modified May 5th, 2006.