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NAME

       gasp - a preprocessor for assembly programs

SYNOPSIS

       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 ...

DESCRIPTION

       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
       mind.

       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.

OPTIONS

       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.

       -a

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

       -c CHAR

       --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 `!'.

       -d

       --debug
              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
              preprocessing.

       -h

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

       -M

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

       -o OUTFILE

       --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.

       -p

       --print
              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
              line).

       -s

       --copysource
              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.

       -u

       --unreasonable
              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.

       -v

       --version
              Display the GASP version number.

       INFILE ...
              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'.

SEE ALSO

       `gasp' entry in info; The GNU Binary Utilities, Roland H. Pesch (October 1991); gasp(1).