What is LLVM? The Power Behind Swift, Rust, Clang, and More
LLVM makes it easier to not only create new languages, but to enhance the development of existing ones. It provides tools for automating many of the most thankless parts of the task of language creation: creating a compiler, porting the outputted code to multiple platforms and architectures, and writing code to handle common language metaphors like exceptions. Its liberal licensing means it can be freely reused as a software component or deployed as a service.
The roster of languages making use of LLVM has many familiar names. Apple’s Swift language uses LLVM as its compiler framework, and Rust uses LLVM as a core component of its tool chain. Also, many compilers have an LLVM edition, such as Clang, the C/C++ compiler (this the name, “C-lang”), itself a project closely allied with LLVM. And Kotlin, nominally a JVM language, is developing a version of the language called Kotlin Native that uses LLVM to compile to machine-native code.
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