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15  <h1>clang: a C language family frontend for LLVM</h1>
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17  
18  <p>The goal of the Clang project is to create a new C, C++, Objective C and
19  Objective C++ front-end for the <a href="http://www.llvm.org/">LLVM</a>
20  compiler.  You can <a href="get_started.html">get and build</a> the source
21  today.</p>
22  
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24  <h2 id="goals">Features and Goals</h2>
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26  
27  <p>Some of the goals for the project include the following:</p>
28  
29  <p><b><a href="features.html#enduser">End-User Features</a></b>:</p>
30
31  <ul>
32  <li>Fast compiles and low memory use</li>
33  <li>Expressive diagnostics (<a href="diagnostics.html">examples</a>)</li>
34  <li>GCC compatibility</li>
35  </ul>
36
37  <p><b><a href="features.html#applications">Utility and 
38     Applications</a></b>:</p>
39
40  <ul>
41  <li>Modular library based architecture</li>
42  <li>Support diverse clients (refactoring, static analysis, code generation,
43   etc.)</li>
44  <li>Allow tight integration with IDEs</li>
45  <li>Use the LLVM 'BSD' License</li>
46  </ul>
47
48  <p><b><a href="features.html#design">Internal Design and 
49     Implementation</a></b>:</p>
50
51  <ul>
52  <li>A real-world, production quality compiler</li>
53  <li>A simple and hackable code base</li>
54  <li>A single unified parser for C, Objective C, C++, and Objective C++</li>
55  <li>Conformance with C/C++/ObjC and their variants</li>
56  </ul>
57
58  <p>Of course this is only a rough outline of the goals and features of
59     Clang.  To get a true sense of what it is all about, see the <a 
60     href="features.html">Features</a> section, which breaks
61     each of these down and explains them in more detail.</p>
62
63     
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65  <h2>Why?</h2>
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67  
68  <p>Development of the new front-end was started out of a need
69     for a compiler that allows better diagnostics, better integration with
70     IDEs, a license that is compatible with commercial products, and a
71     nimble compiler that is easy to develop and maintain.  All of these were
72     motivations for starting work on a new front-end that could
73     meet these needs.</p>
74     
75  <p>A good (but quite dated) introduction to Clang can be found in the
76     following video lectures:</p>
77     
78  <ul>
79    <li><a href="clang_video-05-25-2007.html">Clang Introduction</a>
80        (May 2007)</li>
81    <li><a href="clang_video-07-25-2007.html">Features and Performance of 
82        Clang</a>  (July 2007)</li>
83  </ul>
84  
85  <p>For a more detailed comparison between Clang and other compilers, please
86     see the <a href="comparison.html">clang comparison page</a>.</p>
87  
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89  <h2>Current Status</h2>
90  <!--=====================================================================-->
91  
92  <p>Clang is considered to
93   be a production quality C, Objective-C, C++ and Objective-C++ compiler when 
94   targeting X86-32, X86-64, and ARM (other targets may have caveats, but are 
95   usually easy to fix).  If you are looking for source analysis or
96   source-to-source transformation tools, clang is probably a great
97   solution for you.  Clang supports C++11, please see the <a
98    href="cxx_status.html">C++ status</a> page for more
99   information.</p>
100
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102  <h2>Get it and get involved!</h2>
103  <!--=====================================================================-->
104  
105  <p>Start by <a href="get_started.html">getting the code, building it, and
106     playing with it</a>.  This will show you the sorts of things we can do
107     today and will let you have the "clang experience" first hand: hopefully
108     it will "resonate" with you. :)</p>
109  
110  <p>Once you've done that, please consider <a href="get_involved.html">getting
111     involved in the clang community</a>.  The clang developers include numerous
112     volunteer contributors with a variety of backgrounds.  If you're 
113     interested in
114     following the development of clang, signing up for a mailing list is a good
115     way to learn about how the project works.</p>
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