Getting the Least of our your C Compiler – The Best Article I have ever written?

Back in 2001, while a PhD student at Uppsala University and IAR Systems, I wrote what has to be the most popular and long-lived article I ever did: “Getting the Least out of Your C Compiler“. It was an Embedded Systems Conference class that I also presented in 2002 (after that, I changed jobs to Virtutech and therefore C programming was no longer my official topic). However, the text has lived on. It was featured as a chapter in  the “Firmware Handbook” edited by Jack Ganssle, translated into German by IAR Germany, and has popped up in various places from time to time.

Last week, it resurfaced at, with an attribution that was initially wrong.

However, now these issues have been resolved, and the article is online as part 5 of a series of book chapter excerpts from the Firmware Handbook.

I do think the material still has value, and that it is a good intro to how compilers work. The coding tips seem to have stood the test of time, but I would love to know how they can be updated given compiler technology updates in the past eight years.

Please note that are still struggling to get authorships right, so now I have been attributed a bit more material than is fair. Hopefully, they can resolve this soon:


3 thoughts on “Getting the Least of our your C Compiler – The Best Article I have ever written?”

  1. It is a great article– most semesters, it is required reading for my embedded systems students. An update would be great.

  2. I wonder if there is someone out there who would volunteer to update… I am happy to donate my part of the text under creative commons or something. A moderated wiki or a system like would work great for this kind of project.

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