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Old 01-07-2018, 02:10 PM   #1
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Linux and Assembly

I am a retired COBOL programmer, stuck in the Windows World. I recently decided to learn Assembly language, and I want to bypass the memory model issues by going to a 64 bit assembler. I don't yet have Linux on my computer, so I am interested in recommendations for distribution type, hopefully one with YASM included.
Old 01-07-2018, 02:18 PM   #2
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Hi DaleMc,

Welcome to LQ!

Every major Linux distro has YASM.
Old 01-07-2018, 04:50 PM   #3
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DaleMc View Post
Hey DaleMc.

You can mark the thread solved through the "Thread Tools" menu at the top of the thread.
Old 01-08-2018, 09:29 AM   #5
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As a fellow 'former COBOL-hound' (among many other things), I can tell you that "assembler" is hardly-ever used any more. You might find it in the Linux "trampoline" code, and in the /arch directory of the kernel source where it mostly consists of "C" programs with asm{...} blocks.

The very-simple state of the art right now is that microprocessors aren't designed to be programmed by hand: they're designed to accept the output of compilers. Microprocessor manufacturers work with compiler-writers – and, produce their own compilers – which will generate optimal instruction-sequences for their microprocessors, which are in turn optimized to accept them.

And, actually, this is nothing new. The IBM System/360 contained several instructions and features, such as the PACK instruction and decimal-mode, which were specifically designed for COBOL. (There is a hardware implementation of most of the PICTURE clause.) And, in turn, the IBM COBOL compiler was optimized to use these in the most commonly-executed code paths in order to beat competitors at benchmarks – such as those that, say, the US Government was running. New generations of the architecture carried this trend forward, and the COBOL compiler (along with FORTRAN) was always the most optimized, and optimizable, because these were the two that mattered most. (Kids ... koff koff ... "C" didn't even exist yet ...)

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-08-2018 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:43 AM   #6
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Assembly language still has its uses, as is explained at Wikipedia. A striking (but atypical) example is operating system KolibriOS.
Old 01-08-2018, 12:33 PM   #7
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As with COBOL, there is no reason not to use Assembler if you're sufficiently familiar with it. This is true for both Windows and other operating systems with the exception of Windows having a consistent GUI API guaranteed to be available.


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