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A collection of C++ libraries for runtime code generation, decoding, and Haskell-like lazy metaprogramming
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Erasm++ 0.1.2

What is this ?

Erasm++ is a collection of C++ libraries for high-performance runtime code generation, instruction decoding, and metaprogramming. It consists of the following three components:

  • ERASM++, a library for runtime code generation on x86/x64 architectures,

  • GenericDsm, a fast generic instruction decoder library, and

  • MetaPrelude, a library for Haskell-like lazy (but untyped) metaprogramming.


A preliminary online manual was constructed. Alternatively, a PDF manual was also prepared. Please see doc/manual.pdf for an off-line documentation.


Please see INSTALL for system requirements and installation instructions.

Brief overview of the libraries

Here I describe each component briefly.


ERASM++, the Embedded Runtime Assembler in C++, is an Embedded Domain Specific Language (EDSL) in C++ for runtime code generation on Intel 64/IA-32 architectures. The code looks like the following:

p += adc  (p,word_ptr  [edx + esi * _2],ax);
p += and_ (p,dword_ptr [rip + 0x1000],r12d);
p += rep_movs (p, [di], [si]);
// Unfortunately, lables are not yet implemented!
p += jmp  (p, 0x10);

Although similar runtime code generator libraries already exist, I believe ERASM++ has the following strengths:

  • It is easier to use because the syntax is more natural.

  • It is safer to use because the syntactically invalid expressions cause compilation errors, rather than runtime errors or exceptions.

  • It is faster because most of the encoding and the error checking are done at compile-time, rather than at runtime.

It's so fast that the generator functions are actually compiled into a series of MOV instructions with no external references. Please see the documentation for the detail.


GenericDsm is a fast generic instruction decoder for x86/x64 architectures which allows "pattern matching" against the decoded instructions.

The following code illustrates the idea:

struct MyCounter : public InstructionCounter
    InstructionCounter(const_code_ptr start) 
    : InstructionCounter(start)

    // Let the base class handle the default cases 
    using InstructionCounter::action;

    action(const Ret& insn)
      cout << Ret::mnemonic << endl;
      return finish(insn);

    template<class Op>
    action(const Jmp& insn,const Op& op)
      cout << Jmp::mnemonic << " " << op << endl;
      return finish(insn);

Just as ERASM++, The main strength of GenericDsm is its performance. Please see the documentation for the detail.


MetaPrelude is a library for (untyped) lazy metaprogramming in C++ which tries to mimic Haskell as much as possible. It is used as the backend of static type-level computation in ERASM++ and GenericDsm. I hope it could help implementing more complex EDSLs than the assembly language.

It is still far from complete, and the important design decisions are still open. Maybe I will write a translator from the ghc Core? But then how can I ensure easy integration with the user defined types in C++? I'm not sure.

Here is a list of important limitations:

  • It is an untyped calculus.

  • It doesn't support lambdas (efficiently). This means that you can't have Haskell-style monads syntactically. You still have monads in mathematical sense, of course, as monads are just an abstraction of actions of monoids.

  • In order to support currying, lots of ugly preprocessor hacks are involved. Furthermore, functions with only up to a fixed number (only 3 at this moment) of parameters can be curried.

  • Most importantly, the complexity of the program is dependent upon the particular compiler implementation! Some compilers cache template instantiations, some do not, some in-between at various degrees, and all this can make a difference of linear to super-exponential complexity.

For the moment, code is the only documentation. Please see the following files if you are interested:

  • src/erasm/meta_prelude.hpp
  • src/erasm/meta_leftist_heap.hpp
  • src/erasm/meta_polynomial.hpp
  • src/erasm/x86_addr16.hpp
  • src/erasm/x86_addr32.hpp
  • src/erasm/x64_addr64.hpp


It is licensed under GPLv3. See the file COPYING.


You can write anything about the library at the wiki. Or you can just contact me. Thanks!

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