This is a plugin for GCC, which links against libpython, and (I hope) allows you to invoke arbitrary Python scripts from inside the compiler. The aim is to allow you to write GCC plugins in Python.
The plugin is Free Software, licensed under the GPLv3 (or later).
It's still at the "experimental proof-of-concept stage"; expect crashes and tracebacks (I'm new to insides of GCC, and I may have misunderstood things).
It's already possible to use this to add additional compiler errors/warnings, e.g. domain-specific checks, or static analysis. One of my goals for this is to "teach" GCC about the common mistakes people make when writing extensions for CPython, but it could be used e.g. to teach GCC about GTK's reference-counting semantics, or about locking in the Linux kernel, or about signal-safety in APIs.
Other ideas include visualizations of code structure. Given a
use graphviz and eog to plot a handy visualization of a control flow graph,
showing the source code interleaved with GCC's
The documentation can be seen at:
- GCC: 4.6 or later (it uses APIs that weren't exposed to plugins in 4.5)
- tested with 4.8, 4.9, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
- GCC plugin development package: usually available in distribution packages
- Python: requires 2.7 or 3.2 or later
- "six": The libcpychecker code uses the "six" Python compatibility library to smooth over Python 2 vs Python 3 differences, both at build-time and run-time
to build the plugin and run the tests
You can also use:
to demonstrate the new compiler errors.
Development has been on x86_64 and I don't know to what extent it will be compatible with other architectures.
There isn't an installer yet. In theory you should be able to add these arguments to the gcc invocation:
gcc -fplugin=python.so -fplugin-arg-python-script=PATH_TO_SCRIPT.py OTHER_ARGS
and have it run your script as the plugin starts up.
The plugin automatically adds the absolute path to its own directory to the end of its sys.path, so that it can find support modules, such as gccutils.py and libcpychecker.
The exact API is still in flux; you can currently connect to events by registering callbacks e.g. to be called for each function in the source at different passes.
It exposes GCC's various types as Python objects, within a "gcc" module. You can see the API by running:
import gcc help(gcc)
from within a script.
Overview of the code
This is currently three projects in one:
gcc-python-*: the plugin for GCC. The entrypoint (
init_plugin) is in
cpychecker.py: a Python library (and a driver script),
written for the plugin, in which I'm building new compiler warnings to
help people find bugs in CPython extension code.
cpybuilder: a handy module for programatically generating C source code for
CPython extensions. I use this both to generate parts of the GCC plugin, and
also in the selftests for the cpychecker script. (I initially attempted to use
Cython for the former, but wrapping the "tree" type hierarchy required more
Coding style: Python and GCC each have their own coding style guide for C. I've chosen to follow Python's (PEP-7), as I prefer it (although my code is admittedly a mess in places).
You'll find API documentation within the "docs" directory, written in the reStructuredText format (as is this file, in fact). If you have Sphinx installed, you can regenerate these docs using:
docs directory. Sphinx is the
python-sphinx package on a
More detailed documentation can be seen within
Enjoy! David Malcolm <email@example.com>