Developer Documentation

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Documentation for developers working on Open Watcom. Some of these documents may also be of interest to application developers. Note that not all of these documents are stored on the Open Watcom server.


Language References

ISO C99 Technical Corrigendum 3 (Latest Draft)

The New C Standard: An Economic and Cultural Commentary (see also book's home page)

Compiler construction references & tutorials

Compiler Construction - By Niklaus Wirth, on paper by Addison-Wesley in 1996, ISBN 0-201-40353-6. Other books by the same author.

Learning to write a compiler - A large collection of compiler writing resources on stackoverflow.

Linkers and Loaders

Linkers and Loaders - By John Levine (draft version online), on paper by Morgan-Kaufman in 1999, ISBN 1-55860-496-0. See the web site of the book.

Processor Architecture Manuals

Alpha AXP

Note: The documents that used to be on can still be found at:

Alpha Architecture Handbook

Alpha Architecture Handbook, January 2002

Alpha 21264 Compiler Writer's Guide

Compiler Writer's Guide for the 21264/21364, January 2002

Alpha Calling Standard

Porting Windows NT programs from x86 to Alpha

Alpha 21264/EV6 Hardware Reference Manual

Alpha 21264/EV67 Microprocessor Hardware Reference Manual

Alpha 21264/EV68A Microprocessor Hardware Reference Manual

Alpha 21264/EV68CB and 21264/EV68DC Microprocessor Hardware Reference Manual

Alpha 21164 Microprocessor Hardware Reference Manual, December 1998

Alpha 21164 Microprocessor Hardware Reference Manual, July 1996

Alpha 21064 and Alpha 21064A Microprocessor Hardware Reference Manual

Alpha 21066 and Alpha 21066A Microprocessor Hardware Reference Manual

Lots of Alpha-related documentation

Lots of Alpha-related stuff through 1999


AMD64 Application Programming

AMD64 System Programming

AMD64 General-Purpose and System Instructions

AMD64 128-bit Media Instructions

AMD64 64-bit Media and 80x87 Instructions

Intel IA-32 (x86)

x86 Processor Detection

AMD 3DNow! Technology Manual

Intel Optimizations Manual

Intel Pentium 4 Optimizations Manual

Intel Optimizations Reference Manual

Intel IA-32 Software Developer's Guide Volume I

Intel IA-32 Software Developer's Guide Volume II

Intel IA-32 Software Developer's Guide Volume III

Obsolete but useful documents

Note: The following four text files use codepage IBM-437; ASCII graphics will not be correct when viewed using a different codepage.

Intel 80286 Programmer's Reference Manual (1987)

Intel 80287 Programmer's Reference Manual (1987)

Intel 80386 Programmer's Reference Manual (1986)

Intel 80387 Programmer's Reference Manual (1987)

Intel Itanium (TM)

Intel Itanium(TM) Architecture Assembly Language Reference Guide


MIPS R4000 Microprocessor User's Manual

MIPS R10000 Microprocessor User's Manual


PowerPC Programmer's Reference Guide

PowerPC Programming Environments

PowerPC Compiler Writer's Guide


SPARC V8 Architecture

SPARC V9 Architecture

Floating-point related documents

IEEE 754 - binary floating-point arithmetic

IEEE 854 - radix-independent floating-point arithmetic

In-progress IEEE 754 revision

What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating-Point Arithmetic

Why don’t my numbers add up? An easier explanation to follow than the article above

PC Hardware Documentation

Intel 8959A Programmable Interrupt Controller

Intel 8237A Programmable DMA Controller

Intel 82078 Floppy Disk Controller

Intel 82C54 Programmable Interval Timer

Motorola MC146818A RTC and CMOS RAM

Motorola MC6845 CRT Controller

ABI Documents

System V ABI Version 4.1

Latest Draft System V ABI

386 SVR4 ABI



x86-64 SVR4 ABI


MIPS n32 ABI Handbook

Intel Itanium(TM) ABI

Object and Executable File Formats

ELF Specification

64-bit ELF Specification

Solaris Linker and Libraries Guide (good i386/x64/SPARC ELF reference included)

TIS Object Module Format (OMF) Specification

Microsoft New Executable (NE) Specification, Windows 3.0 variety

Microsoft New Executable (NE) Specification, Windows 3.1 variety

IBM Linear Executable (LX) and OMF Specification

Windows Formats (PE and symbols) Specification

PE and COFF Specification

Intel HEX Format Specification

Debugging Information Formats

DWARF 2.0 Standard - See also the DWARF FAQ

IBM HLL Debugging Information

CodeView Debugging Information

Miscellaneous Documentation

DPMI 1.0 Specification

PostScript Language Reference Manual

PostScript Level 2 Reference Manual

WATCOM Script/GML Tutorial and Reference Manual

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