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On the implementation of GNU Prolog

Daniel Diaz (Univ. de Paris 1)

Salvador Abreu (Univ. de Evora and CENTRIA)

Philippe Codognet (Univ. of Tokyo)


GNU Prolog is a general-purpose implementation of the Prolog language, which distinguishes itself from most other systems by being, above all else, a native-code compiler which produces standalone executables which don’t rely on any byte-code emulator or meta-interpreter. Other aspects which stand out include the explicit organization of the Prolog system as a multipass compiler, where intermediate representations are materialized, in Unix compiler tradition. GNU Prolog also includes an extensible and high-performance finite domain constraint solver, integrated with the Prolog language but implemented using independent lower-level mechanisms. This article discusses the main issues involved in designing and implementing GNU Prolog: requirements, system organization, performance and portability issues as well as its position with respect to other Prolog system implementations and the ISO standardization initiative.

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