mipsABI How to Port to the MIPS ABI


Porting to the MIPS ABI:
A Quick Reference Guide

Are you an ISV considering a port to the MIPS ABI? Read on!

ISVs interested in porting to the MIPS ABI should first contact the MIPS ABI Group to ensure that they have all of the necessary documentation. All the appropriate porting information can be found on our web site, you may use this document as a jumping-off point. The website will provide you with a complete set of marketing and technical documentation including:

After contacting the MIPS ABI Group with news of your intent to port, you should join the SGI Developer Program. The SGI Developer Program provides technical support for porting and testing of ABI-compliant applications as well as additional information on other marketing and technical programs. You can contact the SGI Developer Program by sending email to devprogram@sgi.com.

You should port to the approved MIPS ABI Reference Platform, which is currently any SGI computer system that supports IRIX 6.2 with required supplements. You should compile your applications using abicc with the appropriate compile options as described in the Conformance Guide. If questions arise during the port, the FAQ may provide answers.

You should then test your applications with the ACTS (Application Conformance Test Suite), which may be downloaded from the Web page. This tool shows where possible ABI violations may have taken place which might not show up when the application is tested on the same platform as it was built on.

After completing testing of the application on the Reference Platform, the MIPS ABI Group suggests you test the application binaries on at least one other ABI platform, to make sure no conformance problems have snuck through. Typically the platform(s) to test on would be one for which you have a solid business case to support the product anyway. If you don't have access to another platform, the ABI Group has a Porting Lab, hosted by Silicon Graphics in Mountain View, California, which is available to ISVs for compliance testing. For more information on the MIPS ABI Porting Lab, see the reference article in the March, 1997 MIPS ABI ACCESS newsletter, or check out the Lab Information on our web site.

Once a port is completed, you should complete the MIPS ABI Partner Application which is available from the ABI web site, or from the ABI marketing organization. This form provides the ABI Group with current marketing and sales information on your products and allows the MIPS ABI Group to co-market applications through its own and its member companies ISV marketing programs.

The MIPS ABI Group marketing organization provides a centralized contact point for all MIPS ABI Group marketing programs. The ABI Marketing organization is the link to each of the member companies; allowing ISVs to take advantage of the respective companies ISV programs. These programs often include listing in the companies' ISV Directory, tradeshow participation, literature distribution programs and much more.

The MIPS ABI Group regularly publishes ACCESS, which highlights technical efforts, discusses current marketing opportunities, and provides a list of current marketing contacts for each member company and a list of current ABI-compliant systems. Copies of this newsletter are mailed to each ISV who is a member of the MIPS ABI Group's Developer Program. If you would like paper copies of this newsletter, please contact marketing@mipsabi.org. Issues of the newsletter are also available electronically from the MIPS ABI Marketing page on the web.

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