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gasp - a preprocessor for assembly programs


gasp [-a|--alternate] [-c CHAR | --commentchar CHAR] [-d|--debug] [-h|--help] [-M|--mri]
[-o OUTFILE | --output OUTFILE] [-p|--print] [-s|--copysource] [-u|--unreasonable]
[-v|--version] INFILE ...


The primary purpose of the GNU assembler is to assemble the output of other
programs--notably compilers. When you have to hand-code specialized routines in assembly,
that means the GNU assembler is an unfriendly processor: it has no directives for macros,
conditionals, or many other conveniences that you might expect.

In some cases you can simply use the C preprocessor, or a generalized preprocessor like
M4; but this can be awkward, since none of these things are designed with assembly in

gasp fills this need. It is expressly designed to provide the facilities you need with
hand-coded assembly code. Implementing it as a preprocessor, rather than part of the
assembler, allows the maximum flexibility: you can use it with hand-coded assembly,
without paying a penalty of added complexity in the assembler you use for compiler output.

INFILE... are the files to be preprocessed.


The simplest way to use GASP is to run it as a filter and assemble its output. In Unix
and its ilk, you can do this, for example:

$ gasp prog.asm | as -o prog.o

Naturally, there are also a few command-line options to allow you to request variations on
this basic theme. Here is the full set of possibilities for the GASP command line.


Use alternative macro syntax. *Note Alternate macro syntax: Alternate, for a
discussion of how this syntax differs from the default GASP syntax.


--commentchar CHAR
Use CHAR as the comment character. The default comment character is `!'. For
example, to use a semicolon as the comment character, specify `-c ';'' on the GASP
command line. Since assembler command characters often have special significance
to command shells, it is a good idea to quote or escape CHAR when you specify a
comment character.

For the sake of simplicity, all examples in this manual use the default comment
character `!'.


Show debugging statistics. In this version of GASP, this option produces
statistics about the string buffers that GASP allocates internally. For each
defined buffersize S, GASP shows the number of strings N that it allocated, with a
line like this:

strings size S : N

GASP displays these statistics on the standard error stream, when done


--help Display a summary of the GASP command line options.


--mri Use MRI compatibility mode. Using this option causes GASP to accept the syntax and
pseudo-ops used by the Microtec Research `ASM68K' assembler.


--output OUTFILE
`-o OUTFILE' `--output OUTFILE' Write the output in a file called OUTFILE. If you
do not use the `-o' option, GASP writes its output on the standard output stream.


Print line numbers. GASP obeys this option _only_ if you also specify `-s' to copy
source lines to its output. With `-s -p', GASP displays the line number of each
source line copied (immediately after the comment character at the beginning of the


Copy the source lines to the output file. Use this option to see the effect of
each preprocessor line on the GASP output. GASP places a comment character (`!' by
default) at the beginning of each source line it copies, so that you can use this
option and still assemble the result.


Bypass "unreasonable expansion" limit. Since you can define GASP macros inside
other macro definitions, the preprocessor normally includes a sanity check. If
your program requires more than 1,000 nested expansions, GASP normally exits with
an error message. Use this option to turn off this check, allowing unlimited
nested expansions.


Display the GASP version number.

The input file names. You must specify at least one input file; if you specify
more, GASP preprocesses them all, concatenating the output in the order you list
the INFILE arguments.

Mark the end of each input file with the preprocessor command `.END'.

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