Thread: High level assembler...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Ontario Canada

    High level assembler...

    I'm wondering what everyone thinks of this...

    HLA by Randall Hyde

    I've been looking over the docs and it's rather interesting.

  2. #2
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I've always thought it was trash.

    For the low level details, stuff not included in the HLA library, it is about average; it isn't any better or any worse really than others. If I need the low level in my work I reach for "inline asm" as often as possible.

    For the higher level concepts, stuff like "OOP" support and primitives included in the HLA library, I'd much rather use a high level language I already know or teach a high level language with those same facilities from the start. If I can get by with those abstractions, I'm sure as ........ not going to reach for "asm".


  3. #3
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    I never bothered with it. One of the cool things you can do when you learn assembly is use it to reverse existing code. Not sure what's really going on under the hood on that code segment you just wrote? - Run it through your favorite disassembler and find out ("Go to disassembly on VC". "disassemble <func_name>" on gdb). All those HL constructs do is hide some of the ugliness in asm. If you cant do with the ugliness, stick to C.

    I sometimes use NASM, and for that someone has written a library of macros called NASMX. That helps with things like struct usage and stack balancing, but doesn't try to hide the nuts and bolts.

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    The basic idea was to teach students assembly language programming by leveraging their knowledge of high level languages like C/C++ and Pascal/Delphi. At the same time, HLA was designed to allow advanced assembly language programmers write more readable and more powerful assembly language code.
    The first sentence does make sense and gives some merit to this language. Although I guess it's open for debate if one shouldn't just learn assembly and get it over with. It's not that hard anyways. What's hard is finding good study material, but this HLA language is no different on that regard if all we have for it is this website.

    The second sentence makes no sense at all. C and C++ are so close to assembly languages anyways (even with many current IDEs capable of showing inline assembly of our source, and the compilers allowing assembly in the source code) that I just cannot fathom what can be more powerful than using assembly directly in the source. The only meaning I can find for "readable" in that sentence is the use of the natural language, as our beloved Grace Hopper always insisted. But that's highly debatable on this case. I think our programming paradigms have shifted enough over the years for us to consider "high-Level Programming" as something much more than just putting English words on the syntax. And if this assumption is to be correct, than HLA is no less low-level than assembly or C, at which point it just becomes a distraction that we have no use for.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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